step·​fa·​ther ˈstep-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce stepfather (audio)
: the husband of one's parent when distinct from one's natural or legal father

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Both Cojocari and her husband — Madalina's stepfather, Christopher Palmiter — have been arrested and charged with failure to report a missing child to law enforcement after the 11-year-old girl's disappearance went unreported for weeks. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 11 Jan. 2023 The girl's stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, has also been charged. Kevin Shalvey, ABC News, 8 Jan. 2023 In addition to his mother, stepfather, wife and son, Mr. Green is survived by a brother, Adam; a half sister, Teri Dean; and a stepsister, Emiko VanWie. Alex Traub, New York Times, 4 Jan. 2023 Shauna's friends express their support for her dream — and so does her stepfather, Mark. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 3 Jan. 2023 Her mother, Diana Cojocari, is being held on a $250,000 bond while her stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, is being held on a $200,000 bond, according to jail records. Michelle Watson, CNN, 29 Dec. 2022 Her stepfather, Edward Beattie, is a constant presence on the campaign trail and is always willing to drive long distances to drop off yard signs. Samantha J. Gross,, 26 Dec. 2022 Prosecutors say Janks drugged her stepfather, Tom Merriman, and strangled him on Dec. 31, 2020. CBS News, 23 Dec. 2022 Diana Cojocari, 37, and Madalina's stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, were arrested Saturday and charged with failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement as three weeks had passed before anyone knew the child was missing. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 21 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stepfather was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near stepfather

Cite this Entry

“Stepfather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


step·​fa·​ther ˈstep-ˌfät͟h-ər How to pronounce stepfather (audio)
: the husband of one's mother when distinct from one's natural or legal father

More from Merriam-Webster on stepfather

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