The Holy Father
Father Fa"ther (f[aum]"[th][~e]r), n. [OE. fader, AS. f[ae]der; akin to OS. fadar, D. vader, OHG. fatar, G. vater, Icel. fa[eth]ir Sw. & Dan. fader, OIr. athir, L. pater, Gr. path`r, Skr. pitr, perh. fr. Skr. p[=a] protect. [root]75, 247. Cf. {Papa}, {Paternal}, {Patriot}, {Potential}, {Pablum}.] 1. One who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter; a generator; a male parent. [1913 Webster]

A wise son maketh a glad father. --Prov. x. 1. [1913 Webster]

2. A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor; a founder of a race or family; -- in the plural, fathers, ancestors. [1913 Webster]

David slept with his fathers. --1 Kings ii. 10. [1913 Webster]

Abraham, who is the father of us all. --Rom. iv. 16. [1913 Webster]

3. One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance, affetionate care, counsel, or protection. [1913 Webster]

I was a father to the poor. --Job xxix. 16. [1913 Webster]

He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house. --Gen. xiv. 8. [1913 Webster]

4. A respectful mode of address to an old man. [1913 Webster]

And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him [Elisha], . . . and said, O my father, my father! --2 Kings xiii. 14. [1913 Webster]

5. A senator of ancient Rome. [1913 Webster]

6. A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a confessor (called also {father confessor}), or a priest; also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a legislative assembly, etc. [1913 Webster]

Bless you, good father friar ! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. One of the chief ecclesiastical authorities of the first centuries after Christ; -- often spoken of collectively as the Fathers; as, the Latin, Greek, or apostolic Fathers. [1913 Webster]

8. One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or teacher. [1913 Webster]

The father of all such as handle the harp and organ. --Gen. iv. 21. [1913 Webster]

Might be the father, Harry, to that thought. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The father of good news. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

9. The Supreme Being and Creator; God; in theology, the first person in the Trinity. [1913 Webster]

Our Father, which art in heaven. --Matt. vi. 9. [1913 Webster]

Now had the almighty Father from above . . . Bent down his eye. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{Adoptive father}, one who adopts the child of another, treating it as his own.

{Apostolic father}, {Conscript fathers, etc.} See under {Apostolic}, {Conscript}, etc.

{Father in God}, a title given to bishops.

{Father of lies}, the Devil.

{Father of the bar}, the oldest practitioner at the bar.

{Fathers of the city}, the aldermen.

{Father of the Faithful}. (a) Abraham. --Rom. iv. --Gal. iii. 6-9. (b) Mohammed, or one of the sultans, his successors.

{Father of the house}, the member of a legislative body who has had the longest continuous service.

{Most Reverend Father in God}, a title given to archbishops and metropolitans, as to the archbishops of Canterbury and York.

{Natural father}, the father of an illegitimate child.

{Putative father}, one who is presumed to be the father of an illegitimate child; the supposed father.

{Spiritual father}. (a) A religious teacher or guide, esp. one instrumental in leading a soul to God. (b) (R. C. Ch.) A priest who hears confession in the sacrament of penance.

{The Holy Father} (R. C. Ch.), the pope. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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