paternalism

noun pa·ter·nal·ism \ pə-ˈtər-nə-ˌli-zəm \
Updated on: 14 Apr 2018
1 : a system under which an authority undertakes to supply needs or regulate conduct of those under its control in matters affecting them as individuals as well as in their relations to authority and to each other
  • the empire's paternalism in regard to its colonies
2 : a policy or practice based on or characteristic of paternalism

paternalist

play \pə-ˈtər-nə-list\ noun or adjective

paternalistic

play \pə-ˌtər-nə-ˈli-stik\ adjective

paternalistically

play \pə-ˌtər-nə-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of paternalism from the Web

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

First Known Use of paternalism

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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PATERNALISM Defined for English Language Learners

paternalism

  • : the attitude or actions of a person, organization, etc., that protects people and gives them what they need but does not give them any responsibility or freedom of choice


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