[pey-ter-fuh-mil-ee-uhs, pah-, pat-er-]
noun, plural paterfamiliases for 1, patresfamilias [pey-treez-fuh-mil-ee-uhs, pah-, pa-] , for 2.
the male head of a household or family, usually the father.
Roman Law.
the head of the Roman family; a juridical entity who holds the patria potestas.
a person who is not under the patria potestas of another.

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin: literally, father (i.e., master) of the household, with archaic genitive form familiās of familia; see family

paterfamiliar, adjective
paterfamiliarly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
paterfamilias (ˌpeɪtəfəˈmɪlɪˌæs)
n , pl patresfamilias
1.  the male head of a household
2.  Roman law
 a.  the head of a household having authority over its members
 b.  the parental or other authority of another person
[Latin: father of the family]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1430, from L., lit. "master of a house, head of a family," from pater "father" + familias, old gen. of familia "family."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But here it is-ready to be declaimed from a lectern by the paterfamilias rather than held on your lap.
The moody father is transformed overnight into the benevolent paterfamilias.
Paterfamilias stop- ped a moment, looked about him inquiringly, and seeing what he thought to be his enemy made a second dash.
Paterfamilias said this long ago, and in some instances he has vain-ly been trying to join them ever since.
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