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:

  • Father — Fa ther, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Fathered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Fathering}.] 1. To make one s self the father of; to beget. [1913 Webster] Cowards father cowards, and base things sire base. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To take as one s own child; to adopt;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • father — ► NOUN 1) a male parent. 2) an important figure in the origin and early history of something: Pasteur, the father of microbiology . 3) literary a male ancestor. 4) (often as a title or form of address) a priest. 5) (the Father) (in Christian… …   English terms dictionary

  • father — [fä′thər] n. [ME fader < OE fæder, akin to ON fathir, OHG fater, Goth fadar < IE * pətḗr > L pater, Gr patēr, Sans pitár: ult. origin prob. echoic of baby talk, as in PAPA, Hindi bābū] 1. a man who has begotten a child; esp., a man as he …   English World dictionary

  • father — [n1] male person who begets children ancestor, begetter, dad, daddy*, forebearer, origin, pa, padre, papa, parent, pop*, predecessor, procreator, progenitor, sire, source; concepts 394,400,414,419,423 Ant. mother father [n2] priest abbé,… …   New thesaurus

  • father — index generate, originate, parents, primogenitor, propagate (increase), reproduce Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • Father — Several terms redirect here. For other uses, see Father (disambiguation), Dad (disambiguation), Fatherhood (disambiguation), and Fathering (journal). Father with child A father is defined as a male parent of any type of offspring …   Wikipedia

  • father — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ lone (esp. BrE), single ▪ As a single father, he found it a struggle bringing up three children. ▪ married, unmarried ▪ a married father of …   Collocations dictionary

  • father —    This would seem to be the natural term for a speaker to use to his or her father, but whether it is used or not depends on individual family practice, which may in turn be influenced by the social and educational level of the family concerned …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • father — fa|ther1 W1S1 [ˈfa:ðə US ər] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(parent)¦ 2¦(priest)¦ 3 fathers 4¦(god)¦ 5 the father of something 6 from father to son 7 like father like son 8 a bit of how s your father ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • father — fa|ther1 [ faðər ] noun count *** 1. ) your male parent. People often call their father Dad or, especially if they are young children, Daddy. In the past, people often called their father Father or Papa: My father taught me to drive. George… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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