Easton's Bible Dictionary
A name applied (1) to any ancestor (Deuteronomy 1:11; 1 Kings 15:11; Matthew 3:9; 23:30, etc.); and (2) as a title of respect to a chief, ruler, or elder, etc. (Judges 17:10; 18:19; 1 Samuel 10:12; 2 Kings 2:12; Matthew 23:9, etc.). (3) The author or beginner of anything is also so called; e.g., Jabal and Jubal (Genesis 4:20, 21; Comp. Job 38:28).
Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language
1. (n.) One who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter; a generator; a male parent.
2. (n.) A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor; a founder of a race or family; -- in the plural, fathers, ancestors.
3. (n.) One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance, affectionate care, counsel, or protection.
4. (n.) A respectful mode of address to an old man.
5. (n.) A senator of ancient Rome.
6. (n.) A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a confessor (called also father confessor), or a priest; also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a legislative assembly, etc.
7. (n.) One of the chief ecclesiastical authorities of the first centuries after Christ; -- often spoken of collectively as the Fathers; as, the Latin, Greek, or apostolic Fathers.
8. (n.) One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or teacher.
9. (n.) The Supreme Being and Creator; God; in theology, the first person in the Trinity.
10. (v. t.) To make one's self the father of; to beget.
11. (v. t.) To take as one's own child; to adopt; hence, to assume as one's own work; to acknowledge one's self author of or responsible for (a statement, policy, etc.).
12. (v. t.) To provide with a father.