From Middle English godfader, from Old English godfæder (“godfather”), equivalent to god + father. Cognate with Old Saxon godfader (“godfather”), Middle Dutch godvader (“godfather”), Danish gudfader, gudfar (“godfather”), Swedish gudfader, gudfar (“godfather”), Icelandic guðfaðir (“godfather”).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɡɑdfɑðɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɡɒdfɑːðə/
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godfather (plural godfathers)
- A man present at the christening of a baby who promises to help raise the child in a Christian manner; a male godparent who sponsors the baptism of a child.
- A small post which is used in repairing a fence. For instance attached to and supporting an existing broken fence post.
- A mafia leader.
- (transitive, often figuratively) To act as godfather to.
2007 August 3, John F. Burns, “At Hussein Grave, Legend Lives as Fury Simmers”, in New York Times:
- The grave site, humble as it is, reflects something more than a hometown’s determination to honor a fallen son, something that seems irreducible in the politics of Iraq: the refusal of the Sunni minority, who ruled Iraq for centuries until Mr. Hussein’s overthrow, to reconcile themselves to the assumption of power by the Shiite majority who won elections godfathered by the American occupation authority.