1. Used after a man's surname to distinguish a father from a son: Dumas père primarily wrote novels, while dramas occupied Dumas fils.
2. Père Roman Catholic Church Used as a title for a priest in a French-speaking area.
[French, from Old French pedre, from Latin pater; see pəter- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.