Etymology
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father (n.)
Origin and meaning of father

Old English fæder "he who begets a child, nearest male ancestor;" also "any lineal male ancestor; the Supreme Being," and by late Old English, "one who exercises parental care over another," from Proto-Germanic *fader (source also of Old Saxon fadar, Old Frisian feder, Dutch vader, Old Norse faðir, Old High German fatar, German vater; in Gothic usually expressed by atta), from PIE *pəter- "father" (source also of Sanskrit pitar-, Greek pater, Latin pater, Old Persian pita, Old Irish athir "father"), presumably from baby-speak sound "pa." The ending formerly was regarded as an agent-noun affix.

My heart leaps up when I behold
  A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
  Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
[Wordsworth, 1802]

The classic example of Grimm's Law, where PIE "p-" becomes Germanic "f-." Spelling with -th- (15c.) reflects widespread phonetic shift in Middle English that turned -der to -ther in many words, perhaps reinforced in this case by Old Norse forms; spelling caught up to pronunciation in 1500s (compare mother (n.), weather (n.), hither, gather). As a title of various Church dignitaries from c. 1300; meaning "creator, inventor, author" is from mid-14c.; that of "anything that gives rise to something else" is from late 14c. As a respectful title for an older man, recorded from 1550s. Father-figure is from 1954. Fathers "leading men, elders" is from 1580s.

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father (v.)
Origin and meaning of father
c. 1400, from father (n.). Related: Fathered; fathering.
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fatherhood (n.)
early 14c., faderhade; see father (n.) + -hood.
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stepfather (n.)
also step-father, Old English steopfæder; see step- + father.
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vaterland (n.)
1852, from German Vaterland, from Vater (see father (n.)) + Land (see land (n.)).
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fatherless (adj.)
Old English fæderleas; see father (n.) + -less. Similar formation in Dutch vaderloos, German vaterlos, Danish faderlös.
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fatherly (adj.)
Old English fæderlic "fatherly, paternal; ancestral;" see father (n.) + -ly (1). Similar formation in Dutch vaderlijk, German väterlich. Related: Fatherliness.
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patri- 

word-forming element used in terms describing kinship of the father or the paternal line, from Latin patri-, combining form of pater (see father (n.)).

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sympatric (adj.)
1904, from assimilated form of syn- + Greek patra "fatherland," from pater "father" (see father (n.)) + -ic. Opposite of allopatric.
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