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Definition of Paterfamilias

Paterfamilias: The male head of the family; the father figure. Paterfamilias is the Latin for father of the household. It is compounded from pater (father) + familias, which comes from familia (household), from famulus (servant, slave). The feminine counterpart is the materfamilias.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=32668
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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