stepfather

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See also: step-father

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English stepfader, from Old English stēopfæder, from Proto-Germanic *steupafadēr (stepfather), equivalent to step- +‎ father.

Cognate with Saterland Frisian Stäiffoar (stepfather), Dutch stiefvader (stepfather), German Low German Steevvader (stepfather), German Stiefvater (stepfather), Swedish styvfar (stepfather), Icelandic stjúpfaðir (stepfather).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Hyphenation: step‧fa‧ther

Noun[edit]

stepfather (plural stepfathers)

  1. (in the narrow sense) A husband of one's biological mother after her initial marriage to or relationship with one's biological father.
    • 1980, Ford, Gerald, “Boyhood—and Beyond”, in A Time to Heal[1], New York: Berkley Books, →ISBN, page 47:
      My stepfather loved me as much as he loved his own three sons. I knew how much he wanted to help me and how lacking in financial resources he was. Nothing could erase the image I gained of my real father that day: a carefree, well-to-do man who didn't really give a damn about the hopes and dreams of his firstborn son.
  2. (in the broad sense) A husband of one's parent distinct from one's biological father
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • 2015, Werner A. Mueller, Monika Hassel, Maura Grealy, Development and Reproduction in Humans and Animal Model Species, Springer, →ISBN, page 188, column 2:
      In suboptimal cases the gynaecologist takes sperm from anonymous donors. In this case the husband can only be stepfather of the child.
    • 1953, Cyril Dean Darlington, The Facts of Life, page 433:
      Telegony or Inheritance from the Stepfather
      The earliest reference to telegony ( which has no connection with the son of Odysseus ) is supposed to be in 1665 but the classical case is that described in the Philosophical Transactions of []

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