from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A man who is the head of a household or the father of a family.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A man who is the head of a household, family or tribe.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The head of a family; in a large sense, the proprietor of an estate; one who is his own master.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The father of a family; the head of a household; hence, sometimes, the head man of a community; the chief of a tribe.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the male head of family or tribe
Latin paterfamiliās : pater, father; see pater + familiās, archaic genitive of familia, family; see family.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From around 1425 to 1475 from late Middle English which itself came from the Latin term with the same meaning. From the Latin term pater ("father") + familiās, an archaic genitive of familia ("family", "household"). Literally meaning "father of the family" or "father of the household". Confer the English word family. (Wiktionary)