F'ATHER, noun [Latin pater. The primary sense is obvious.]
1. He who begets a child; in Latin genitor or generator.
The father of a fool hath no joy. Proverbs 17:21.
2. The first ancestor; the progenitor of a race or family. Adam was the father of the human race. Abraham was the father of the Israelites.
3. The appellation of an old man, and a term of respect.
The king of Israel said to Elisha, my father shall I smite them? 2 Kings 6:21.
The servants of Naaman call him father Elderly men are called fathers; as the fathers of a town or city. In the church, men venerable for age, learning and piety are called fathers, or reverend fathers.
4. The grandfather or more remote ancestor. Nebuchadnezzar is called the father of Belshazzar, though he was his grandfather. Daniel 5:2.
5. One who feeds and supports or exercises paternal care over another. God is called the father of the fatherless.
6. He who creates, invents, makes or composes any thing; the author, former or contriver; a founder, director or instructor. God as creator is the father of all men. John 8:16. Jabal was the father of such as dwell in tents; and Jubal of musicians. Genesis 4:20. God is the father of spirits and of lights. Homer is considered as the father of epic poetry. Washington, as a defender and an affectionate and wise counselor, is called the father of his country. And see 1 Chronicles 2:51. 1 Chronicles 4:14. 1 Chr 9:35. Satan is called the father of lies; he introduced sin, and instigates men to sin. John 8:16. Abraham is called the father of believers. He was an early believer, and a pattern of faith and obedience. Romans 4:1.
7. Fathers, in the plural, ancestors.
David slept with his fathers. 1 Kings 2:12.
8. A father in law. So Heli is called the father of Joseph. Luke 3:8.
9. The appellation of the first person in the adorable Trinity.
Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19.
10. The title given to dignitaries of the church, superiors of convents, and to popish confessors.
11. The appellation of the ecclesiastical writers of the first centuries, as Polycarp, Jerome, etc.
12. The title of a senator in ancient Rome; as conscript fathers.
Adoptive father he who adopts the children of another, and acknowledges them as his own.
Natural father the father of illegitimate children.
Putative father one who is only reputed to be the father; the supposed father