a male godparent.
a man who is influential in a movement or organization, through providing support for it or through playing a leading or innovatory part in it:
the godfather of alternative comedy.
a person directing an illegal organization, esp. a leader of a Mafia family.
in literal use, a male godparent, who presents a child at baptism, responding on their behalf and promising to take responsibility for their religious education; the term is recorded from Old English
, and in late Middle English was extended to a male sponsor at the consecration of a church bell.
From the 1960s, the word has also denoted a person directing an illegal organization, especially a leader of the American mafia
; the usage derives from the film The Godfather
(1972) by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel (1969) by Mario Puzo, and centring on Don Corleone
, the sinister head of a Mafia
, foregather, gather, slather
, father, lather, rather
•grandfather • stepfather • godfather
, feather, heather, leather, nether, tether, together, weather, wether, whether
•bather • sunbather
, hither, slither, swither, thither, whither, wither, zither
•Rhondda • mouther • loather
, brother, mother, other, smother, t'other
•grandmother • stepmother
•godmother • housemother
•stepbrother • further