Definition of papa in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɑːpə//pəˈpɑː/


  • 1North American dated One's father.

    ‘he saw his papa's face change at this news’
    as name ‘Papa had taught her to ride a bicycle’
    • ‘Heaven had taken her Grandmother and then Grandfather, and now it took her papa too, would her mother be next?’
    • ‘Fannie remembered her papa talking about his brother Jack.’
    • ‘Antonia de Vito's family in Italy is flooded out of their home in the 1950s, so they all pack their things to join papa in Edmonton.’
    • ‘Mama is resting with papa and Jeanette is listening to the radio.’
    • ‘‘Your papa's coming home,’ she whispered to him for the hundredth time as she bounced him on her knee playfully.’
  • 2A code word representing the letter P, used in radio communication.

    • ‘Papa November Nine, This is Papa November One, Go Ahead, Over!’
    • ‘Say you're in Fort Mason in Piedmont. Piedmont, being the city you're in, would come first, so Papa, then Fort Mason, so you would have Papa Foxtrot Mike, then its coordinates. So all together it would be: Papa Foxtrot Mike, 3s 15e.’


Late 17th century: from French, via late Latin from Greek papas.