grandfather

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

A grandfather and his granddaughter

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English grandfadre, grauntfader, graunfadir, graundfadir, equivalent to grand- +‎ father; compare French grand-père, English eldfather.

Noun[edit]

grandfather (plural grandfathers)

  1. A father of someone’s parent. [from 15th c.]
  2. (by extension) A male forefather.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From grandfather clause: see etymology 1 and clause.

Verb[edit]

grandfather (third-person singular simple present grandfathers, present participle grandfathering, simple past and past participle grandfathered)

  1. (intransitive, law) To retain existing laws or rules only for people or organizations previously affected by them, and to apply new laws or rules to the unaffected people or organizations. [from 1950s]
  2. (transitive, law) To retain existing laws or rules for (a person or organization previously affected by them). [from 1950s]
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