Simple Definition of paternal
: of or relating to a father
: related through the father
Full Definition of paternal
1 a : of or relating to a father b : like that of a father <paternal benevolence>
2 : received or inherited from one's male parent
3 : related through one's father <paternal grandfather>
paternallyplay \-nəl-ē\ adverb
Examples of paternal in a sentence
He did not neglect his paternal responsibilities after the divorce.
Origin and Etymology of paternal
Middle English, from Late Latin paternalis, from Latin paternus paternal, from pater
First Known Use: 15th century
PATERNAL Defined for Kids
Definition of paternal for Students
1 : 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>
2 : 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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up paternal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).