fa·ther / ˈfä[voicedth]ər/ • n. 1. a man in relation to his natural child or children. ∎ a man who has continuous care of a child, esp. by adoption; an adoptive father, stepfather, or foster father. ∎ a father-in-law. ∎ a male animal in relation to its offspring. ∎ (usu. fathers) poetic/lit. an ancestor. ∎ (also founding father) an important figure in the origin and early history of something. ∎ a man who gives care and protection to someone or something: the prince is widely regarded as the father of the nation. ∎ the oldest or most respected member of a society or other body. ∎ (the Father) (in Christian belief) the first person of the Trinity; God. ∎ (Father) poetic/lit. used in proper names, esp. when personifying time or a river, to suggest an old and venerable character: Father Thames. 2. (also Father) (often as a title or form of address) a priest: pray for me, Father. • v. [tr.] be the father of: he fathered three children. ∎ treat with the protective care usually associated with a father. ∎ be the source or originator of: a culture which has fathered half the popular music in the world. ∎ (father someone on) make (a woman) pregnant: he fathered a child on a one-night stand. DERIVATIVES: fa·ther·hood / -ˌhoŏd/ n. fa·ther·less adj. fa·ther·less·ness n. ORIGIN: Old English fæder; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin pater and Greek patēr.
Father of English Poetry a name for Geoffrey Chaucer, given him by John Dryden.
Father of History a name for Herodotus.
Father of Lies a name for the Devil; originally with biblical allusion to John 8:44.
father of the chapel in the UK, the shop steward of a printers' trade union; a chapel in this sense was originally a printers' workshop or printing office, and then a meeting or association of the journeymen in a printing office for arranging affairs and settling disagreements among themselves.
Father of the Faithful a name for the patriarch Abraham, after Romans 4:11. In Muslim usage, it is a title for the Caliph.
Father of the House of Commons the member with the longest continuous service.
Father of Waters an informal name for the Mississippi.
Father's Day is a day of the year on which fathers are particularly honoured by their children, especially with gifts and greetings cards. It was first observed in the state of Washington in 1910; in the US and Britain, it is usually the third Sunday in June, in Australia, the first Sunday in September.
the Fathers of the Church early Christian theologians (in particular of the first five centuries) whose writings are regarded as especially authoritative.
like father, like son often used to call attention to similarities in behaviour which are supposedly inherited. The saying is recorded from the mid 14th century. Like father, like daughter is a variant of this (the proverb like mother, like daughter evolved separately). A related saying in Latin is, ‘qualis pater talis filius [as is the father, so is the son].’
see also the child is father of the man, experience is the father of wisdom, success has many fathers, Father Time at time, it is a wise child that knows its own father, the wish is father to the thought.
See also 281. MOTHER ; 307. PARENTS
- the hatred of one’s father. —misopaterist , n.
- 1 . a community in which the father or oldest male is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe, and descent is traced through the male line.
- 2 . government by males, with one as supreme. —patriarchist , n. —patri-archic , patriarchical , adj.
- tending to move toward or centering upon the father. See also matricentric .