Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ
: a male parent
: a man who has begotten a child
also : a male animal who has sired an offspring
: one related to another in a way suggesting that of father to child
: an old man —used as a respectful form of address
often capitalized : a pre-Scholastic (see scholastic sense 1a) Christian writer accepted by the church as an authoritative witness to its teaching and practice
called also church father
: one of the leading men (as of a city) —usually used in plural
a council of the city fathers
fatherlike adjective or adverb
fathered; fathering ˈfät͟h-riŋ
: to be the founder, producer, or author of
fathered the improvement plan
: to accept responsibility for
: to fix the paternity or origin of
: to place responsibility for the origin or cause of
collected gossip and fathered it on responsible men—J. A. Williamson
: to care for or look after someone as a father might
Noun He became a father when he was 30. He's the father of three small children. He has been like a father to me. He was a father to me after my own father died. Verb He was praised for fathering a plan to improve the city's schools. Paul Revere somehow found room in his small house for the large family he had fathered. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
NounWalker's father also attempted to rescue him, but both drowned. —Jason Hahn, Peoplemag, 21 Mar. 2023 The cold case was reopened amid the investigation into the murders of Buster’s mother and brother by his father Alex Murdaugh. —Maria Lencki, Fox News, 21 Mar. 2023 Ibrahim Almadi said his father had lost extensive weight in prison and that his health had worsened drastically. —Ellen Knickmeyer, Fortune, 21 Mar. 2023 His son, Harry Shannon, said his father was a powerful man, a jack of all trades and a master of none. —Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2023 Alongside Florence was her mother Deborah Mackin, father Clinton Pugh, and grandmother Pat Mackin. —Briannah Rivera, Seventeen, 21 Mar. 2023 Ibrahim said his father was detained over several tweets sent over the last few years. —Aina J. Khan, NBC News, 21 Mar. 2023 His sisters and father don’t get along with his mother due to problems that happened years ago. —Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 21 Mar. 2023 The urgency Franti felt came from losing his father to COVID in 2021 and having to memorialize him over Zoom. —Karen M. Peterson, Variety, 20 Mar. 2023
VerbIf Bruce didn’t father Damien until sometime in his mid-20s, then Bruce would be cast in the mid-to-late 30s range. —Mark Hughes, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 On the other hand, a poor boy may not father any children while a poor girl is more likely to. —Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2022 Near the beginning of the Netflix film, which is a possible Oscar contender, Connie marries Lord Clifford, who soon is injured in WWI and unable to father a child. —Tim Gray, Variety, 11 Jan. 2023 The pair split, and Natalie has been searching for love — and someone to father her children — ever since. —Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2022 Until a decade ago, though, only about half of the states had passed any legislation limiting the parental rights of men who father children through rape. —Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2022 Powell was born on April 20, 1973 in Austin, Texas, to father John and mother Kay Foster. —Ej Panaligan, Variety, 1 Nov. 2022 Yet his choice to father these children has been treated as comedic fodder while raising a plethora of concerns. —Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2022 Contrary to popular belief, Cannon is not the first celebrity to father multiple children with different women. —Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'father.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Which Came First?
- hot take or cold shoulder?
Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?PLAY
Words at Play
Ask the Editors
Name That Flower
Can you tell the difference between a lilac and a...
Take the quiz
Are You Feeling Lucky?
A charming quiz about fortunate and unfortunate w...
Take the quiz
True or False?
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something a...
Take the quiz
Spelling Bee Quiz
Can you outdo past winners of the National Spelli...
Take the quiz