pa·​ter·​nal | \ pə-ˈtər-nᵊl How to pronounce paternal (audio) \

Definition of paternal

1a : of or relating to a father offered his children some paternal advice paternal responsibilities
b : like that of a father paternal benevolence
2 : received or inherited from one's male parent lived and worked on his paternal farm
3 : related through one's father paternal grandfather

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Other Words from paternal

paternally \ pə-​ˈtər-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce paternally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of paternal in a Sentence

He did not neglect his paternal responsibilities after the divorce.

Recent Examples on the Web

His paternal grandfather, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona was the son of Princess Victoria Eugenie, herself the daughter of Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Queen Victoria's Descendants Still Reign Over Europe," 17 Feb. 2019 For a system that constantly has a paternal instinct, in this situation that seems to be missing. Ross Dellenger,, "The Curious Case of Kristian Fulton: A Two-Year Ban, a Last-Ditch Appeal and a Spotlight on the NCAA," 13 June 2018 His paternal grandmother, who died in 2009, suffered from Alzheimer’s. James Taranto, WSJ, "How to Store Data Along Memory Lane," 18 Jan. 2019 Earlier this week the victim's paternal great aunt provided investigators with photos of multiple bruises on the boy's head, lower back and buttocks. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Mother accused of leaving son to be abused by boyfriend; infant was severely beaten," 11 July 2018 Court records obtained by The Oregonian show that Priscilla Celestine, the paternal aunt of Devonte, Sierra and Jeremiah Hart, had tried multiple times to win custody of the children, then known as Devonte, Ciara and Jeremiah Davis. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Devonte Hart’s Biological Aunt Fought for Custody and Was Denied: Report," 13 Apr. 2018 His paternal grandfather moved from Lebanon to Brazil at the age of 13 with nothing but a suitcase, and started a handful of businesses in the country’s interior, where Mr. Ghosn was later born, according to Mr. Ghosn’s autobiography. Patricia Kowsmann, WSJ, "The Fall of the House of Ghosn," 16 Dec. 2018 His full name is Andrew Albert Christian Edward, honoring his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who died 16 years before he was born. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Get to Know Prince Andrew, the Father of Princess Eugenie and Beatrice," 13 Aug. 2018 Taking his name from his paternal grandmother, who ran an after-hours gambling parlor, Carter dropped out of Western Michigan University following his freshman year to intern in Nike’s basketball sports marketing department. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "A Day in the Life of Maverick Carter," 12 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paternal.' 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 paternal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for paternal

Middle English, from Late Latin paternalis, from Latin paternus paternal, from pater

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Statistics for paternal

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for paternal

The first known use of paternal was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of paternal

: of or relating to a father
: related through the father


pa·​ter·​nal | \ pə-ˈtər-nᵊl How to pronounce paternal (audio) \

Kids Definition of paternal

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

Other Words from paternal

paternally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on paternal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paternal

Spanish Central: Translation of paternal

Nglish: Translation of paternal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paternal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on paternal

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having no equal

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