father

The verb father means to make children. If your dog, Tramp, fathers three puppies with the neighbor's dog, Lady, he is their father.

A father is a male parent. Everyone has a biological father, even if they're not raised by him. You might call your father Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pops, or even Father. A man who helped found something, or invent it, can be called the father of that entity or invention. George Washington is considered a father of the United States, and Alexander Graham Bell is often referred to as the father of the telephone.

Definitions of father
1

n a male parent (also used as a term of address to your father)

“his father was born in Atlanta”
Synonyms:
begetter, male parent
Antonyms:
female parent, mother
a woman who has given birth to a child (also used as a term of address to your mother)
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
dad, dada, daddy, pa, papa, pappa, pop
an informal term for a father; probably derived from baby talk
father-in-law
the father of your spouse
old man
an informal term for your father
pater
an informal use of the Latin word for father; sometimes used by British schoolboys or used facetiously
Type of:
parent
a father or mother; one who begets or one who gives birth to or nurtures and raises a child; a relative who plays the role of guardian

n the founder of a family

Synonyms:
forefather, sire
Examples:
show 10 examples...
hide 10 examples...
Abraham
the first of the Old Testament patriarchs and the father of Isaac; according to Genesis, God promised to give Abraham's family (the Hebrews) the land of Canaan (the Promised Land); God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son
Benjamin
(Old Testament) the youngest and best-loved son of Jacob and Rachel and one of the twelve forebears of the tribes of Israel
Isaac
(Old Testament) the second patriarch; son of Abraham and Sarah who was offered by Abraham as a sacrifice to God; father of Jacob and Esau
Ishmael
(Old Testament) the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of Isaac; considered the forebear of 12 Arabian tribes
Issachar
(Old Testament) a son of Jacob and a forebear of one of the tribes of Israel
Joseph
(Old Testament) the 11th son of Jacob and one of the 12 patriarchs of Israel; Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, which made his brothers jealous and they sold him into slavery in Egypt
Judah
(Old Testament) the fourth son of Jacob who was forebear of one of the tribes of Israel; one of his descendants was to be the Messiah
Methuselah
(Old Testament) a patriarch (grandfather of Noah) who is said to have lived 969 years
Noah
the Hebrew patriarch who saved himself and his family and the animals by building an ark in which they survived 40 days and 40 nights of rain; the story of Noah and the flood is told in the Book of Genesis
Reuben
(Old Testment) a son of Jacob and forefather of one of the tribes of Israel
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
patriarch
any of the early biblical characters regarded as fathers of the human race
antediluvian, antediluvian patriarch
any of the early patriarchs who lived prior to the Noachian deluge
Jacob
(Old Testament) son of Isaac; brother of Esau; father of the twelve patriarchs of Israel; Jacob wrestled with God and forced God to bless him, so God gave Jacob the new name of Israel (meaning `one who has been strong against God')
Simeon
(Old Testament) the 2nd son of Jacob and one of the 12 patriarchs of Israel
Type of:
ancestor, antecedent, ascendant, ascendent, root
someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)

n a person who founds or establishes some institution

“George Washington is the father of his country”
Synonyms:
beginner, founder, founding father
Examples:
Sir Walter Raleigh
English courtier (a favorite of Elizabeth I) who tried to colonize Virginia; introduced potatoes and tobacco to England (1552-1618)
Cecil John Rhodes
British colonial financier and statesman in South Africa; made a fortune in gold and diamond mining; helped colonize the territory now known as Zimbabwe; he endowed annual fellowships for British Commonwealth and United States students to study at Oxford University (1853-1902)
Types:
cofounder
one of a group of founders
coloniser, colonizer
someone who helps to found a colony
foundress
a woman founder
Type of:
conceiver, mastermind, originator
someone who creates new things

n a person who holds an important or distinguished position in some organization

“the tennis fathers ruled in her favor”
“the city fathers endorsed the proposal”
Type of:
leader
a person who rules or guides or inspires others

n the head of an organized crime family

Synonyms:
don
Type of:
chief, head, top dog
a person who is in charge

v make children

“Men often father children but don't recognize them”
Synonyms:
beget, bring forth, engender, generate, get, mother, sire
Type of:
create, make
make or cause to be or to become

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.