: of or like that of a father :fatherly<“I wasn't offering it to you, Poliakoff,” snapped Karkaroff, his warmly paternal air vanishing … — J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire>
: related through the father <my paternal cousins>
Word Root of PATERNAL
The Latin word pater, meaning “father,” and the Greek word patēr give us the root pater or patr. Anyone or anything paternal, such as an aunt or uncle, is related to one's father. A patriarch is a father and ruler of a family or tribe. A patriot is a person who loves his or her fatherland or country. A patron is a person who gives support and approval for a project or artist, as fathers support and approve of their children.