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godfather

[god-fah-th er] /ˈgɒdˌfɑ ðər/
noun
1.
a man who serves as sponsor for a child at baptism.
2.
any male sponsor or guardian.
3.
(often initial capital letter) a powerful leader, especially of the Mafia.
4.
a person who is regarded as the originator or principal shaper of a movement, school of thought, art form, industry, or the like:
the godfather of abstract expressionism.
verb (used with object)
5.
to act as godfather to; be sponsor or protector for.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English godfader, Old English godfæder. See God, father
Related forms
godfatherly, adjective

Godfather, The

[god-fah-th er] /ˈgɒdˌfɑ ðər/
noun
1.
a novel (1969) by Mario Puzo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for god father

godfather

/ˈɡɒdˌfɑːðə/
noun
1.
a male godparent
2.
the head of a Mafia family or other organized criminal ring
3.
an originator or leading exponent: the godfather of South African pop
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 god father

godfather

n.

man who sponsors one at baptism, late 12c., from god + father (n.). In the Mafia sense, from 1963. Popularized by Mario Puzo's novel (1969) and the movie based on it (1972).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for god father

godfather

noun

The chief; highest authority; boss: He was Life's first publisher, the godfather of the radio and film March of Time series

Related Terms

fairy godfather

[1970s+; fr the Mafia term, ''head of a Mafia family,'' voguish after a book and a movie]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for god father

godfather

one who stands surety for another in the rite of Christian baptism. In the modern baptism of an infant or child the godparent or godparents make profession of faith for the person being baptized (the godchild) and assume an obligation to serve as proxies for the parents if the parents either are unable or neglect to provide for the religious training of the child, in fulfillment of baptismal promises. In churches mandating a sponsor only one godparent is required; two (in most churches, of different sex) are permitted. Many Protestant denominations permit but do not require godparents to join the infant's natural parents as sponsors. In the Roman Catholic Church godparents must be of the Catholic faith.

Learn more about godfather with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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