fa·​ther·​ly | \ ˈfä-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce fatherly (audio) \

Definition of fatherly

1 : of, relating to, or befitting a father fatherly responsibilities
2 : resembling a father (as in affection or care) a fatherly old man

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Other Words from fatherly

fatherliness \ ˈfä-​t͟hər-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce fatherliness (audio) \ noun
fatherly adverb

Examples of fatherly in a Sentence

He took a fatherly interest in the careers of younger writers.
Recent Examples on the Web Plenty of people were left wary of how hurt Trubisky truly was since NBC’s cameras showed no one attending to him on the sideline, only a clip of what appeared to be a fatherly talk with Nagy. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Without info on Mitch Trubisky’s hip, NBC’s Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth speculate: ‘Everything is free game if you’re a member of the media or a fan in Chicago’," 18 Nov. 2019 At least the fatherly bid, however hurtful, could be lucrative. The Economist, "Octogenarians are shaking up Italian business," 14 Nov. 2019 Willie was, among other things, prone to dispensing fatherly advice while using the bathroom. New York Times, "John Witherspoon, Actor in ‘Friday’ and Other Movies, Dies at 77," 30 Oct. 2019 Willie was, among other things, prone to dispensing fatherly advice while using the bathroom. BostonGlobe.com, "NEW YORK — John Witherspoon, an actor and comedian best known for his role in the “Friday” movie franchise and also seen on television series, including “The Wayans Bros.,” “The Tracy Morgan Show,” and the animated “The Boondocks,” died Tuesday at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 77.," 1 Nov. 2019 There was a lot of fatherly advice in those sit downs. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Arnold Gosewich, Former President of Capitol Records Canada, Dies at 85," 22 Oct. 2019 Rooney, who before purchasing the franchise played semipro baseball and was an amateur boxing champion, forged a reputation as humble, compassionate and fatherly. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 Show him brotherly love, fatherly discipline, bring him in to the fold, bathe him in your team’s magically-spectacular camaraderie, and presto. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Is Antonio Brown’s helmet half-full or half-empty?," 18 Aug. 2019 Hans’ dad passed away when Hans was young, and Chainski and Mullins each took on a fatherly role for him. Heidi Stevens, chicagotribune.com, "Steve Mullins, baseball enthusiast from Evanston hoping to visit his 100th minor league park this summer, has passed away," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fatherly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fatherly

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fatherly

Time Traveler

The first known use of fatherly was before the 12th century

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Statistics for fatherly

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fatherly.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatherly. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fatherly


How to pronounce fatherly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fatherly

: of a father : resembling a father : showing the affection or concern of a father


fa·​ther·​ly | \ ˈfä-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce fatherly (audio) \

Kids Definition of fatherly

: of or like a father He gave me fatherly advice.

More from Merriam-Webster on fatherly

Spanish Central: Translation of fatherly

Nglish: Translation of fatherly for Spanish Speakers

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