2. A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor; a founder of a race or family; in the plural, fathers, ancestors. David slept with his fathers. (1 kings II. 10) Abraham, who is the father of us all. (Rom. Iv. 16)
3. One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance, affetionate care, counsel, or protection. I was a father to the poor. (job xxix. 16) He hath made me a father to pharaoh, and lord of all his house. (gen. Xiv. 8)
5. A senator of ancient Rome.
6. A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a confessor (called also father confessor), or a priest; also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a legislative assembly, etc. Bless you, good father friar ! (Shak)
8. One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or teacher. The father of all such as handle the harp and organ. (gen. Iv. dfc
9. The supreme being and Creator; God; in theology, the first person in the trinity. Our father, which art in heaven. (Matt. Vi. 9) Now had the almighty father from above . . . Bent down his eye. (Milton) Adoptive father, one who adopts the child of another, treating it as his own. Apostolic father, Conscript fathers, etc. See Apostolic, Conscript, etc. Father in god, a title given to bishops. Father of lies, the devil. Father of the bar, the oldest practitioner at the bar. Fathers of the city, the aldermen. Father of the Faithful. Abraham. Mohammed, or one of the sultans, his successors. Father of the house, the member of a legislative body who has had the longest continuous service. most Reverend father in god, a title given to archbishops and metropolitans, as to the archbishops of Canterbury and York. Natural father, the father of an illegitimate child. Putative father, one who is presumed to be the father of an illegitimate child; the supposed father. Spiritual father. A religious teacher or guide, especially. One instrumental in leading a soul to god.
Origin: oe. Fader, as. Faeder; akin to os. Fadar, D. Vader, OHG. Fatar, g. Vater, Icel. Fair Sw. & dan. Fader, OIr. Athir, L. Pater, gr, Skr. Pitr, perh. Fr. Skr. Pa protect,. Cf. Papa, paternal, Patriot, potential, Pablum.