GOD'F`ATHER, n. The man who is sponsor for a child at baptism, who promises to answer for his future conduct and that he shall follow a life of piety, by this means laying himself under an indispensable obligation to instruct the child and watch over his conduct. This practice is of high antiquity in the christian church, and was probably intended to prevent children from being brought up in idolatry, in case the parents died before the children had arrived to years of discretion. In the catholic church the number of godfathers and godmothers is reduced to two; in the church of England, to three; but formerly the number was not limited.
GOD'F`ATHER, v.t. To act as godfather; to take under one's fostering care.