Definition of grandfather in English:



  • 1The father of one's father or mother.

    • ‘I often heard the lament that their Arab grandfathers and fathers had not thought enough about education, and had simply pushed their sons into the family business.’
    • ‘He was indeed politically aware, since his grandfather and father were both MPs and his wife was the daughter of another.’
    • ‘The grandfather of three has concerns about the quality of education for the next generation.’
    • ‘It is believed that the girls had been visiting their grandfather with their mother from Pakistan.’
    • ‘The field belonged to my grandfather and my father built our bungalow on the land in 1953.’
    • ‘We heard our fathers and grandfathers argue over the same teams and players.’
    • ‘His grandmother was a singer, both his grandfather and father were principal dancers and his mother danced in the corps.’
    • ‘Historically, grandfathers or fathers would take the kids fishing, even if it was just to the local burn or pond, but that rarely happens now.’
    • ‘I speak to you as a father, as a grandfather, and most of all as someone who cares deeply about all of you.’
    • ‘The grandfather of the family is in charge of the hotel's small shop.’
    • ‘Finbar spends one Saturday every month with his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather.’
    • ‘I grew up in a musical environment, with my grandfather and father leading me.’
    • ‘Her father and grandfathers were Presbyterian ministers.’
    • ‘About ten fathers and two grandfathers took the opportunity to spend time with their children and grandchildren on Tuesday.’
    • ‘Looking down the list now, I wonder how many of the families of those who worked at the gas works could ever afford to take advantage of the land their fathers and grandfathers worked on.’
    • ‘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 grandfather's medals clinked as the old man brought his right hand smartly up in a salute.’
    • ‘My father and both my grandfathers were musicians and two of them played the trombone and one the tuba!’
    • ‘His family travelled up, his grandfathers, father, brothers and friends, and they all made Matt's day very special for him.’
    • ‘As the patriarch of the family, my grandfather commanded an enormous amount of respect.’
    grandad, grandpa, grandpop
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    1. 1.1The person who founded or originated something.
      ‘Freud is often called the grandfather of psychoanalysis’
      • ‘You'd call him the grandfather of stand-up comedy, if grandfather didn't seem altogether too cosy.’
      • ‘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.’
      founder, inventor, originator, creator, initiator, instigator, father, founding father, pioneer, framer, mastermind
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[WITH OBJECT]North American
  • Exempt (someone or something) from a new law or regulation.

    ‘smokers who worked here before the ban have been grandfathered’
    • ‘Current members will be grandfathered in, regardless of rating.’
    • ‘Major League Baseball required all teams to retire the number in 1997, but players who were already wearing 42 at the time were grandfathered.’
    • ‘The commission also phased out line sharing for new customers over three years, although it temporarily grandfathered all existing line sharing arrangements.’
    • ‘NSR involves changes to pre-1977 power plants that were grandfathered under the Clean Air Act.’
    • ‘The Herbert Hoover library was grandfathered into the system by the Libraries Act.’
    • ‘A bad law should not be an excuse for grandfathering such outrageous economic favoritism.’
    • ‘Sailors with 10 or more years of service as of July 1 will be grandfathered, allowing them to remain on active duty to reach retirement eligibility.’
    • ‘At a minimum, these ordinances could have been grandfathered, so that existing property owners face less onerous restrictions on what they can do.’
    • ‘The bill grandfathers any existing systems, so no-one will get cut off.’
    • ‘Environmentalists argue that bringing scores of older plants - those grandfathered under the Clean Air Act - into compliance with a strict interpretation of the new source review rules would improve public health.’
    exempt, excuse, make an exception for, make an exception of, give immunity to, grant immunity to, let off, release, exclude, exonerate
    let off the hook
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