Definition of papa in US English:



  • 1North American dated One's father.

    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.’
    • ‘‘Your papa's coming home,’ she whispered to him for the hundredth time as she bounced him on her knee playfully.’
    • ‘Mama is resting with papa and Jeanette is listening to the radio.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2A code word representing the letter P, used in radio communication.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Papa November Nine, This is Papa November One, Go Ahead, Over!’


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