paternal

adjective pa·ter·nal \ pə-ˈtər-nᵊl \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of paternal

1 a : 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

paternally

play \pə-ˈtər-nᵊl-ē\ adverb

Examples of paternal in a Sentence

  1. He did not neglect his paternal responsibilities after the divorce.

Recent Examples of paternal from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of paternal

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


PATERNAL Defined for English Language Learners

paternal

adjective

Definition of paternal for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to a father

  • : related through the father


PATERNAL Defined for Kids

paternal

adjective pa·ter·nal \ pə-ˈtər-nᵊl \

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

paternally

adverb

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.



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