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[god-fah-th er] /ˈgɒdˌfɑ ðər/

a man who serves as sponsor for a child at baptism.
any male sponsor or guardian.
(often initial capital letter) a powerful leader, especially of the Mafia.
a person who is regarded as the originator or principal shaper of a movement, school of thought, art form, industry, or the like:
the godfather of abstract expressionism.
verb (used with object)
to act as godfather to; be sponsor or protector for.
[god-fah-th er] /ˈgɒdˌfɑ ðər/
a novel (1969) by Mario Puzo.
a male godparent
the head of a Mafia family or other organized criminal ring
an originator or leading exponent: the godfather of South African pop

man who sponsors one at baptism, late 12c., from god + father (n.). In the Mafia sense, from 1963. Popularized by Mario Puzo’s novel (1969) and the movie based on it (1972).


The chief; highest authority; boss: He was Life’s first publisher, the godfather of the radio and film March of Time series

Related Terms

fairy godfather

[1970s+; fr the Mafia term, ”head of a Mafia family,” voguish after a book and a movie]


Read Also:

  • Godfather offer

    noun 1. (informal) a takeover bid pitched so high that the management of the target company is unable to dissuade shareholders from accepting it

  • God-fearing

    [god-feer-ing] /ˈgɒdˌfɪər ɪŋ/ adjective 1. deeply respectful or fearful of God. 2. (sometimes lowercase) deeply religious; pious; devout. adjective 1. pious; devout: a God-fearing people adj. 1759, from God + fearing (see fear).

  • Godforsaken

    [god-fer-sey-kuh n, god-fer-sey-] /ˈgɒd fərˌseɪ kən, ˌgɒd fərˈseɪ-/ adjective, (sometimes initial capital letter) 1. desolate; remote; deserted: They live in some godforsaken place 40 miles from the nearest town. 2. wretched; neglected; pitiable. /ˈɡɒdfəˌseɪkən; ˌɡɒdfəˈseɪkən/ adjective (sometimes capital) 1. (usually prenominal) desolate; dreary; forlorn 2. wicked adj. 1816, from God + forsaken.

  • Godfrey

    [god-free] /ˈgɒd fri/ noun 1. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning “god” and “peace.”. interjection 2. (sometimes lowercase) (used as an exclamation of surprise, anger, etc.) masc. proper name, from Old French Godefrei (Modern French Godefroi), from Old High German Godafrid (German Gottfried), literally “the peace of God,” from Old High German got […]

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