- a plural of paterfamilias.
noun, plural pa·ter·fa·mil·i·as·es for 1, pa·tres·fa·mil·i·as [pey-treez-fuh–mil-ee-uh s, pah-, pa-] /ˌpeɪ triz fəˈmɪl i əs, ˌpɑ-, ˌpæ-/ for 2.
- the male head of a household or family, usually the father.
- Roman Law.
- the head of the Roman family; a juridical entity who holds the patria potestas.
- a person who is not under the patria potestas of another.
noun plural patresfamilias (ˌpɑːtreɪzfəˈmɪlɪˌæs)
- the male head of a household
- Roman law
- the head of a household having authority over its members
- the parental or other authority of another person
n.early 15c., from Latin pater familias “master of a house, head of a family,” from pater “father” (see father (n.)) + familias, old genitive of familia “family” (see family).