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1. a male parent.
2. a father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.
3. any male ancestor, esp. the founder of a race, family, or line; progenitor.
4. a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider: a father to the poor.
5. a person who has originated or established something: the father of modern psychology; the founding fathers.
6. a precursor, prototype, or early form: The horseless carriage was the father of the modern automobile.
7. one of the leading men in a city, town, etc.: a scandal involving several of the city fathers.
8. Chiefly Brit.the oldest member of a society, profession, etc. Cf. dean1 (def. 3).
9. a priest.
10. (cap.) Theol.the Supreme Being and Creator; God.
11. a title of respect for an elderly man.
12. the Father, Theol.the first person of the Trinity.
13. Also called church father. Ch. Hist. any of the chief early Christian writers, whose works are the main sources for the history, doctrines, and observances of the church in the early ages.
a. (often cap.) a title of reverence, as for church dignitaries, officers of monasteries, monks, confessors, and esp. priests.
b. a person bearing this title.
15. fathers, Rom. Hist.See conscript fathers.
1. to beget.
2. to be the creator, founder, or author of; originate.
3. to act as a father toward.
4. to acknowledge oneself the father of.
5. to assume as one's own; take the responsibility of.
6. to charge with the begetting of.
to perform the tasks or duties of a male parent; act paternally: Somehow he was able to write a book while fathering.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.