Definition of grandfather in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡran(d)fɑːðə/


1The father of one’s father or mother.
Example sentences
  • His grandmother was a singer, both his grandfather and father were principal dancers and his mother danced in the corps.
  • His father's father fought in the First World War, while his grandfather on his mother's side saw service in the Boer War.
  • His family travelled up, his grandfathers, father, brothers and friends, and they all made Matt's day very special for him.
informal grandad, grandpa, grandpop
North American informal gramps, grand daddy
Spanish abuelo
1.1The person who founded or originated something: Freud is often called the grandfather of psychoanalysis
More example sentences
  • He still writes for newspapers and describes himself principally as a journalist, but to the rest of us he is the grandfather of chat.
  • Indeed the grandfather of genetics is Mendel, a monk who lived in Brno, now in the Czech Republic.
  • You'd call him the grandfather of stand-up comedy, if grandfather didn't seem altogether too cosy.


[with object] North American informal
Exempt (someone or something) from a new law or regulation: smokers who worked here before the ban have been grandfathered
More example sentences
  • The Herbert Hoover library was grandfathered into the system by the Libraries Act.
  • The commission also phased out line sharing for new customers over three years, although it temporarily grandfathered all existing line sharing arrangements.
  • Major League Baseball required all teams to retire the number in 1997, but players who were already wearing 42 at the time were grandfathered.
exempt, excuse, make an exception of/for, give/grant immunity to, let off, release, exclude, exonerate
informal let off the hook



Example sentences
  • And with his big glasses, it was a grandfatherly image that would beckon any young ‘un to come closer and enjoy.
  • Despite the grandfatherly attire, there is no doubt that I am in the presence of a master.
  • I like many things about this book, but not the picture of Mr Foot, looking very old, haggard and grandfatherly, on the dust jacket.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: grand|father

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