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father

[fah-th er] /ˈfɑ ðər/
noun
1.
a male parent.
2.
a father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.
3.
any male ancestor, especially the founder of a race, family, or line; progenitor.
4.
a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider:
a father to the poor.
5.
a person who has originated or established something:
the father of modern psychology; the founding fathers.
6.
a precursor, prototype, or early form:
The horseless carriage was the father of the modern automobile.
7.
one of the leading men in a city, town, etc.:
a scandal involving several of the city fathers.
8.
Chiefly British. the oldest member of a society, profession, etc.
Compare dean1 (def 3).
9.
a priest.
10.
(initial capital letter) Theology. the Supreme Being and Creator; God.
11.
a title of respect for an elderly man.
12.
the Father, Theology. the first person of the Trinity.
13.
Also called church father. Church History. any of the chief early Christian writers, whose works are the main sources for the history, doctrines, and observances of the church in the early ages.
14.
Ecclesiastical.
  1. (often initial capital letter) a title of reverence, as for church dignitaries, officers of monasteries, monks, confessors, and especially priests.
  2. a person bearing this title.
15.
fathers, Roman History, conscript fathers.
verb (used with object)
16.
to beget.
17.
to be the creator, founder, or author of; originate.
18.
to act as a father toward.
19.
to acknowledge oneself the father of.
20.
to assume as one's own; take the responsibility of.
21.
to charge with the begetting of.
verb (used without object)
22.
to perform the tasks or duties of a male parent; act paternally:
Somehow he was able to write a book while fathering.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English fader, Old English fæder; cognate with German Vater, Latin pater, Greek patḗr, Sanskrit pitar, Old Irish athir, Armenian hayr
Related forms
fatherlike, adjective
Can be confused
farther, *farer, father, further (see usage note at farther)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fathers
  • Rank and nora both suffer from the irresponsibility of their fathers dr.
  • This led to a very awkward marriage and several affairs on the fathers part.
  • The founding fathers maintained the role of the commander in military justice.
  • His style of writing is said to be unequaled among the fathers of the church.
British Dictionary definitions for fathers

father

/ˈfɑːðə/
noun
1.
a male parent
2.
a person who founds a line or family; forefather
3.
any male acting in a paternal capacity related adjective paternal
4.
(often capital) a respectful term of address for an old man
5.
a male who originates something: the father of modern psychology
6.
a leader of an association, council, etc; elder: a city father
7.
(Brit) the eldest or most senior member in a society, profession, etc: father of the bar
8.
(often pl) a senator or patrician in ancient Rome
9.
(informal) the father of, a very large, severe, etc, example of a specified kind: the father of a whipping
verb (transitive)
10.
to procreate or generate (offspring); beget
11.
to create, found, originate, etc
12.
to act as a father to
13.
to acknowledge oneself as father or originator of
14.
foll by on or upon. to impose or place without a just reason
Derived Forms
fathering, noun
Word Origin
Old English fæder; related to Old Norse fathir, Old Frisian feder, Old High German fater, Latin pater, Greek patēr, Sanskrit pitr

Father

/ˈfɑːðə/
noun
1.
God, esp when considered as the first person of the Christian Trinity
2.
Also called Church Father. any of the writers on Christian doctrine of the pre-Scholastic period
3.
a title used for Christian priests
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fathers

father

n.

Old English fæder "father, male ancestor," from Proto-Germanic *fader (cf. Old Saxon fadar, Old Frisian feder, Dutch vader, Old Norse faðir, Old High German fater, German vater), from PIE *pəter (cf. Sanskrit pitar-, Greek pater, Latin pater, Old Persian pita, Old Irish athir "father"), presumably from baby-speak sound like pa.

The classic example of Grimm's Law, where PIE "p-" becomes Germanic "f-." Spelling with -th- (15c.) reflects widespread phonetic shift in Middle English that turned -der to -ther in many words; spelling caught up to pronunciation in 1500s (cf. burden, murder).

v.

c.1400, from father (n.). Related: Fathered; fathering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fathers in the Bible

a name applied (1) to any ancestor (Deut. 1:11; 1 Kings 15:11; Matt. 3:9; 23:30, etc.); and (2) as a title of respect to a chief, ruler, or elder, etc. (Judg. 17:10; 18:19; 1 Sam. 10:12; 2 Kings 2:12; Matt. 23:9, etc.). (3) The author or beginner of anything is also so called; e.g., Jabal and Jubal (Gen. 4:20, 21; comp. Job 38:28). Applied to God (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 32:6; 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 89:27, 28, etc.). (1.) As denoting his covenant relation to the Jews (Jer. 31:9; Isa. 63:16; 64:8; John 8:41, etc.). (2.) Believers are called God's "sons" (John 1:12; Rom. 8:16; Matt. 6:4, 8, 15, 18; 10:20, 29). They also call him "Father" (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:4)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with fathers

father

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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