of, like, or befitting a father
in the manner of a father
Origin: before 1000; Middle English faderly, Old English fæderlic. Related forms
1. Fatherly, paternal refer to the relationship of a male parent to his children. Fatherly has emotional connotations; it always suggests a kind, protective, tender, or forbearing attitude: fatherly advice. Paternal may suggest a kindly, proprietary attitude: paternal interest; but it may also be used objectively, as a legal and official term: his paternal grandmother; paternal estate.