pa·​pa | \ ˈpä-pə How to pronounce papa (audio) , chiefly British pə-ˈpä\
variants: or less commonly \ ˈpä-​pə How to pronounce poppa (audio) \

Definition of papa

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: father


communications code word
Pa·​pa | \ pə-ˈpä How to pronounce Papa (audio) , ˈpä-pə\

Definition of Papa (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter p

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Synonyms for papa

Synonyms: Noun

dad, daddy, father, old man, pa, pater [chiefly British], pop, sire

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Examples of papa in a Sentence


a proud papa of newborn twins

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like the shrimp and grits, the fetter papa burger ($15) is appropriately decadent. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "40 craft beers and a vegetarian-friendly menu make Crescent Hill Craft House stand out," 28 Aug. 2019 Noble, muscular papa Mufasa (once again voiced by James Earl Jones) and lithe, wise mother Sarabi (Alfre Woodard) look on adoringly. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Disney's New The Lion King Is Beautiful But Soulless," 11 July 2019 Understandably, the new mom has been laying low to take care of and enjoy her time with baby Sussex alongside Prince Harry, who is an adorably proud papa. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Steps Out in a Trench Dress for the First Time Since Giving Birth," 8 May 2019 Aly's brother Brett also got a lesson on ties from papa John. Peggy Truong, Cosmopolitan, "13 Things the Final Five Did at the 2016 VMAs," 29 Aug. 2016 Instead, the normally media-averse Prince Harry stepped outside to gush to the reporters, and even answer questions briefly, before the proud papa headed back inside. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Baby Sussex Is About to Have Some Seriously VIP Visitors," 7 May 2019 Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a very proud, fully involved papa. Kara Warner,, "How Jeffrey Dean Morgan Delivered His Newborn Daughter: ‘I Grabbed Her By the Cheeks and Got Her Out’," 19 Apr. 2018 Buddy Bell stood in the back of the room, watching the scene as a proud papa. Joe Kay, The Seattle Times, "Family affair: Rebuilding Reds pick David Bell to lead them," 22 Oct. 2018 The Associated Press said the proud papa picked out the name Nandi from three that were placed on poles stuffed with hay. Fox News, "Name given to North Carolina's baby white rhino," 28 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of papa


1677, in the meaning defined above

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for papa


French (baby talk)

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Statistics for papa

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for papa

The first known use of papa was in 1677

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More Definitions for papa



English Language Learners Definition of papa

informal + somewhat old-fashioned : a person's father


pa·​pa | \ ˈpä-pə How to pronounce papa (audio) \

Kids Definition of papa

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More from Merriam-Webster on papa

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papa

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for papa

Spanish Central: Translation of papa

Nglish: Translation of papa for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of papa for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about papa

Comments on papa

What made you want to look up papa? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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