father
Pronunciation
  • (RP) enPR: fä'thə(r), IPA: /ˈfɑːðə(ɹ)/
  • (GA) enPR: fä'thər, IPA: /ˈfɑðɚ/
  • (Australia) enPR: fä'thə, IPA: /ˈfaːðə/
  • (obsolete) enPR: fă'thər, IPA: /ˈfæðəɹ/
Noun

father (plural fathers)

  1. A (generally human) male who begets a child.
    My father was a strong influence on me.
    My friend Tony just became a father.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Proverbs 10:1 ↗:
      The Pꝛouerbes of Solomon: A wiſe ſonne maketh a glad father : but a fooliſh sonne is the heauineſſe of his mother.
  2. A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 1 Kings 2:10 ↗:
      So Dauid ſlept with his fathers, and was buried in the citie of Dauid.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Romans 4:16 ↗:
      Therefoꝛe it is of faith, that it might bee by grace; to the ende the pꝛomiſe might be ſure to all the ſeede, not to that onely which is of the Law, but to that alſo which is of the faith of Abꝛaham, who is the father of vs all,
  3. A term of respectful address for an elderly man.
    Come, father; you can sit here.
  4. A term of respectful address for a priest.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Bless you, good father friar!
  5. A person who plays the role of a father in some way.
    My brother was a father to me after my parents got divorced.
    The child is father to the man.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Job 29:16 ↗:
      I was a father to the pooꝛe : and the cauſe which I knewe not, I ſearched out.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Genesis 45:8 ↗:
      So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God : and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and loꝛd of all his houſe, and a ruler thꝛoughout all the land of Egypt.
  6. The founder of a discipline or science.
    Albert Einstein is the father of modern physics.
  7. Something that is the greatest or most significant of its kind.
    • 1991, The Nairobi Law Monthly:
      Soon after the announcement of this year's election results, Mereka said that "the father of all battles had just begun." His dispute with Muite goes back to March last year [...]
    • 2002, Financial Management:
      "If UK GDP slows by 1 per cent, there is the mother and father of all recessions. It was exciting, but very bizarre, working in such an environment."
    • 2012, Zubairu Wai, Epistemologies of African Conflicts: Violence, Evolutionism, and the War in Sierra Leone, Palgrave Macmillan: (ISBN 9781137280794), page 93:
      “The Father of All Battles”
      On March 23, 1991, a band of armed insurgents attacked the town of Bomaru [...]
  8. Something inanimate that begets.
  9. A senator of Ancient Rome.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: senhor
  • Russian: оте́ц
Translations Verb

father (fathers, present participle fathering; past and past participle fathered)

  1. To be a father to; to sire.
    • 1592, William Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI v 4
      Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live; Especially since Charles must father it.
  2. (figuratively) To give rise to.
    • 1610, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline ii 2
      Cowards father cowards and base things sire base.
  3. To act as a father; to support and nurture.
    • 1610, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline iv 2
      Ay, good youth! And rather father thee than master thee.
  4. To provide with a father.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Ivlivs Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      Think you I am no stronger than my sex, / Being so fathered and so husbanded?
  5. To adopt as one's own.
    • 1713, Jonathan Swift, Imitation of Horace, Book I. Ep. VII.
      Kept company with men of wit / Who often fathered what he writ.
Translations Translations Translations
Father
Proper noun
  1. (Christianity) God, the father of Creation
  2. A title given to priests.
    Father Thomas was a good priest.
  3. One of the chief ecclesiastical authorities of the first centuries after Christ.
    the Latin, Greek, or apostolic Fathers
  4. One's father.
    I will only do what Father asks.
  5. (Wicca) One of the triune gods of the Horned God in Wicca, representing a man, younger than the elderly Sage and older than the boyish Master.
    • 2002, A. J. Drew, Wicca for Couples: Making Magick Together, page 89 ↗
      ...and our Lord as Master, Father, and Sage.
    • 2003, A. J. Drew, Patricia Telesco, God/Goddess: Exploring and Celebrating the Two Sides of Wiccan Deity, page 38 ↗
      In respect to our Lord (God), these are the less known Master, Father, and Sage.
Antonyms Translations Translations


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