You can call your grandfather a paterfamilias — he is the male head of your family.

The word paterfamilias comes from ancient Roman law. The word itself is Latin, combining pater, "father," and familias, "family." In other words, he was the father of the family — and in Rome, that meant that he had legal rights to everything the family owned and authority over each of its members. These days, the paterfamilias is more likely to simply preside over family reunions and hold grandchildren on his knee.

Definitions of paterfamilias

n the male head of family or tribe

Type of:
head of household
the head of a household or family or tribe
adult male, man
an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman)

Sign up, it's free!

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