1. [ noun ] (Old Testament) any of the early Biblical characters regarded as fathers of the human race
Related terms: forefather Simeon Noah Abraham Isaac Joseph Jacob benjamin ishmael issachar joseph judah methuselah reuben antediluvian
2. [ noun ] the head of family or tribe
Synonyms: head_of_household paterfamilias
Related terms: man head head_of_household
3. [ noun ] (religion) title for the heads of the Eastern Orthodox Churches (in Istanbul and Alexandria and Moscow and Jerusalem)
Related terms: spiritual_leader nestorius
4. [ noun ] a man who is older and higher in rank than yourself
Synonyms: graybeard
Related terms: old_man
Similar spelling:   patriarchy