follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

paternal

[puh-tur-nl] /pəˈtɜr nl/
adjective
1.
characteristic of or befitting a father; fatherly:
a kind and paternal reprimand.
2.
of or relating to a father.
3.
related on the father's side:
one's paternal grandfather.
4.
derived or inherited from a father:
paternal traits.
Origin of paternal
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin paternālis, equivalent to Latin patern(us) paternal (pater father + -nus adj. suffix) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
paternally, adverb
nonpaternal, adjective
nonpaternally, adverb
unpaternal, adjective
unpaternally, adverb
Synonyms
1. See fatherly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for paternal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "A true Christian only feels offenses to pardon them," he remarked, in his priestly and paternal character.

    The Black Robe Wilkie Collins
  • paternal grossness was attenuated by the maternal influence.

  • Mr Ware, whom my father had not seen since the death of the good old gentleman, came down now to revisit his paternal seat.

  • Her father sprang to meet her with an unusual display of paternal tenderness.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Who were her paternal grandparents, and what did they write?

British Dictionary definitions for paternal

paternal

/pəˈtɜːnəl/
adjective
1.
relating to or characteristic of a father, esp in showing affection, encouragement, etc; fatherly
2.
(prenominal) related through the father: his paternal grandfather
3.
inherited or derived from the male parent
Derived Forms
paternally, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin paternālis, from Latin pater father
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for paternal
adj.

early 15c., from Old French paternal "of a father" (12c.), from Medieval Latin paternalis, from Latin paternus "of a father, fatherly," from pater (see father (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
paternal in Medicine

paternal pa·ter·nal (pə-tûr'nəl)
adj.

  1. Relating to or characteristic of a father or fatherhood.

  2. Received or inherited from a father.

  3. Related through one's father.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for paternal

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for paternal

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for paternal