American English

Definition of father noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a male parent of a child or an animal; a person who is acting as the father to a child Ben is a wonderful father. You've been like a father to me. Our new boss is a father of three (= he has three children). He was a wonderful father to both his natural and adopted children. (old-fashioned) Father, I cannot lie to you. see also godfather, grandfather, stepfather
  2. 2fathers [plural] (literary) a person's ancestors (= people who are related to you who lived in the past) the land of our fathers see also forefather
  3. 3father (of something) the first man to introduce a new way of thinking about something or of doing something Pablo Picasso is considered the father of modern art. see also founding father
  4. 4Father used by Christians to refer to God Father, forgive us. God the Father
  5. 5Father (abbreviation Fr.) the title of a priest, especially in the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church Father Dominic see also Holy Father
  6. Idioms
    from father to son
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    from one generation of a family to the next
    like father, like son (saying)
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    used to say that a son's character or behavior is similar to that of his father
    old enough to be somebody's father/mother (disapproving)
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    very much older than someone (especially used to suggest that a romantic relationship between the two people is not appropriate)
    the wish is father to the thought (saying)
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    we believe a thing because we want it to be true
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: father