- the of one’s or mother.
- a forefather.
- the founder or originator of a family, species, type, etc.; the first of one’s or its kind, or the one being longest in existence: the grandfather of all steam locomotives.
verb (used with object)
- to exempt (something or someone) from new legislation, restrictions, or requirements: The law grandfathered all banks already operating at the time of passage. He was grandfathered into the pension plan.
- the father of one’s father or mother
- (often plural) a male ancestor
- (often capital) a familiar term of address for an old man
- dialect a caterpillar or woodlouse
early 15c., from grand-père. Replaced and Old English ealdefæder. Grandfather clause originally (1900) referred to exemptions from post-Reconstruction voting restrictions in the U.S. South for men whose forebears had voted before the Civil War. Grandfather clock is c.1880, from the popular song; they were previously known as tall case clocks or eight-day clocks.(adj.) + (n.), probably on analogy of French