Definition of paternal
1a : of or relating to a father offered his children some paternal advice paternal responsibilitiesb : 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
paternallyplay \pə-ˈtər-nəl-ē\ adverb
Examples of paternal in a Sentence
He did not neglect his paternal responsibilities after the divorce.
Recent Examples of paternal from the Web
Within hours of seeing the marks, relatives from the maternal and paternal sides gathered for an emergency meeting to discuss the injuries with Khalil’s mother, Kashae Lacy.
Rick's paternal grandfather was the publisher of the Salinas Californian who was a friend and researcher for author John Steinbeck.
His paternal grandparents had emigrated from Rimini, Italy, in 1909.
Eventually, her aging paternal grandmother urged her to launch the search.
Throughout his childhood, Ailes was told that his paternal grandfather had been killed in combat in the First World War.
The two den-masters also exhibited a strange paternal behavior: eating some of their own eggs.
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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
PATERNAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of paternal for English Language Learners
: of or relating to a father
: related through the father
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
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