Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[puh-tur-nl] /pəˈtɜr nl/
characteristic of or befitting a father; fatherly:
a kind and paternal reprimand.
of or relating to a father.
related on the father's side:
one's paternal grandfather.
derived or inherited from a father:
paternal traits.
Origin of paternal
late Middle English
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
1. See fatherly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for paternally
Historical Examples
  • "I have been put to a deal of bother on your account, Scott," he said paternally.

    The Lincoln Story Book Henry L. Williams
  • "This is not the sort of night for small animals to be out," he said paternally.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • Your years, which are not such as to preclude improvement, permit us to admonish you paternally.

    Lucretia Borgia Ferdinand Gregorovius
  • "But I shall change your thoughts about the cause," he said paternally.

    Sacrifice Stephen French Whitman
  • Should He not be religiously glorified in the intellect as in the senses, with which He has so paternally endowed His creatures?

  • He said this so solemnly and paternally, it sounded like the eleventh commandment.

  • Each was paternally satisfied with results so far, and each hoped for further development equally gratifying.

  • He took him up, kissed him, and paternally set him down, drum and all.

    The Lincoln Story Book Henry L. Williams
  • He patted her shoulder, as we paternally do with the young ones, and went back to Grace.

    H. R. Edwin Lefevre
  • "You have slept ill, my dear," said he, paternally offering her a seat beside him.

    Faithful Margaret Annie Ashmore
British Dictionary definitions for paternally


relating to or characteristic of a father, esp in showing affection, encouragement, etc; fatherly
(prenominal) related through the father: his paternal grandfather
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 paternally



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
paternally in Medicine

paternal pa·ter·nal (pə-tûr'nəl)

  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 paternally

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for paternally