from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A father.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A father; papa.
  • noun A lump; a large piece: as, a dad of bread.
  • To dash; throw; scatter.
  • In coal-mining, to mix (fire-damp) with atmospheric air to such an extent that it becomes incapable of exploding.
  • To fall forcibly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Father; -- a word sometimes used by children.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun informal A father, a male parent.
  • noun familiar Used to address one's father
  • noun slang Used to address an older adult male

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an informal term for a father; probably derived from baby talk


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Of baby-talk origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English dadd, dadde, perhaps of Celtic origin, compare Welsh, Breton and Gaelic dad, tad; possibly related to Russian дядя ("uncle").


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  • The child's way of expressing father. It is remarkable, that, in all parts of the world, the word for father, as first taught to children, is compounded of a and t, or the kindred letter d differently placed; as tad, Welsh; ἄττα, Greek; atta, Gothick; tata, Latin. Mammas atque tatas habet Afra, Mart.] Father.

    I was never so bethumpt with words,

    Since first I call’d my brother’s father dad. Shakesp. K. John.

    His loving mother left him to my care;

    Fine child, as like his dad as he could stare! Gay.

    (Johnson's Dictionary)

    April 19, 2011