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[gran-fah-th er, grand-] /ˈgrænˌfɑ ðər, ˈgrænd-/

the of one’s or mother.
a forefather.
the founder or originator of a family, species, type, etc.; the first of one’s or its kind, or the one being longest in existence:
the grandfather of all steam locomotives.
verb (used with object)
to exempt (something or someone) from new legislation, restrictions, or requirements:
The law grandfathered all banks already operating at the time of passage. He was grandfathered into the pension plan.
/ˈɡrænˌfɑːðə; ˈɡrænd-/
the father of one’s father or mother
(often pl) a male ancestor
(often capital) a familiar term of address for an old man
(dialect) a caterpillar or woodlouse

early 15c., from grand (adj.) + father (n.), probably on analogy of French grand-père. Replaced grandsire and Old English ealdefæder. Grandfather clause originally (1900) referred to exemptions from post-Reconstruction voting restrictions in the U.S. South for men whose forebears had voted before the Civil War. Grandfather clock is c.1880, from the popular song; they were previously known as tall case clocks or eight-day clocks.


To give someone a special status or privilege because of service before the time a new or definitive arrangement is made: Some farmers just got grandfathered in, that’s true

[1900+; fr the grandfather clause often written into new arrangements in order to be fair to older incumbents or practitioners; the date indicates the earliest instance of grandfather clause]


Read Also:

  • Grandfather-clause

    noun 1. U.S. History. a clause in the constitutions of some Southern states after 1890 intended to permit whites to vote while disfranchising blacks: it exempted from new literacy and property qualifications for voting those men entitled to vote before 1867 and their lineal descendants. 2. any legal provision that exempts a business, class of […]

  • Grandfathered rights

    noun phrase the legal privilege to use property based on descendants’ use; also called nonconforming rights , also written grandfather rights

  • Grandfatherly

    [gran-fah-th er-lee, grand-] /ˈgrænˌfɑ ðər li, ˈgrænd-/ adjective 1. of or characteristic of a . /ˈɡrænˌfɑːðəlɪ; ˈɡrænd-/ adjective 1. of, resembling, or suitable to a grandfather, esp in being kindly adj. 1824, from grandfather + -ly (1).

  • Grandfather rights

    noun phrase See grandfathered rights

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