Father
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Father
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English

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Etymology

From Middle English fader, from Old English fæder, from Proto-West Germanic *fader, from Proto-Germanic *fad?r, from Proto-Indo-European *ph?t?r. Doublet of faeder, padre, pater, and père.

Pronunciation

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.
  2. A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor.
  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.
  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.
  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), 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.
    • 1649, Richard Lovelace, Amyntor's Grove, His Chloris, Arigo, and Gratiana. An Elogie.[1], Thomas Harper, page 88:
      Load you with fruit, such as your Father / From you with all the joyes doth gather : / And may you when one branch is dead / Graft such another in it's stead, [...]
  9. A senator of Ancient Rome.

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Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

father (third-person singular simple present fathers, present participle fathering, simple past and past participle fathered)

  1. To be a father to; to sire.
  2. (figurative) To give rise to.
  3. To act as a father; to support and nurture.
  4. To provide with a father.
  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

See also

Anagrams


Middle English

Noun

father

  1. (Late Middle English) Alternative form of fader

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