Apostolic 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:

  • Apostolic Father — ▪ Christian writer       any of the Greek Christian writers, several unknown, who were authors of early Christian works dating primarily from the late 1st and early 2nd centuries. Their works are the principal source for information about… …   Universalium

  • Apostolic Father — noun Date: 1828 a church father of the first or second century A.D …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • apostolic father — noun Usage: usually capitalized A&F : one of the authors of a collection of 2d century A.D. writings of religious significance …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • father confessor — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Father in God — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Father of lies — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Father of the bar — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Father of the Faithful — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Father of the house — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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