paterfamilias

play
noun pa·ter·fa·mil·i·as \ˌpa-tər-fə-ˈmi-lē-əs, ˌpä-, ˌpā-\

Definition of paterfamilias

plural

patresfamilias

play \ˌpā-ˌtrēz-, ˌpä-ˌtrās-\
  1. 1 :  the male head of a household

  2. 2 :  the father of a family

  3. 3 :  a man who originates or is a leading figure in something (such as a movement, discipline, or enterprise)

Recent Examples of paterfamilias from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paterfamilias'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of paterfamilias

Middle English, from Latin, from pater father + familias, archaic genitive of familia household — more at father, family


PATERFAMILIAS Defined for English Language Learners

paterfamilias

play
noun

Definition of paterfamilias for English Language Learners

  • : a man who is the head of a family


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