follow Dictionary.com

Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

paternity

[puh-tur-ni-tee] /pəˈtɜr nɪ ti/
noun
1.
the state of being a father; fatherhood.
2.
derivation or acquirement from a father.
3.
origin or authorship.
adjective
4.
noting or pertaining to a legal dispute in which an unwed mother accuses a man of being the father of her child:
a paternity suit.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English paternite < Late Latin paternitās. See paternal, -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for paternity
  • The authors offered an evolutionary explanation for their findings: the phenomenon is a natural paternity test.
  • Your stepdaughter might need to take a paternity test.
  • paternity test conducted here are confidential, safe and trustworthy.
  • The scent-producing cells of that skin would give off pheromones signalling his paternity.
  • It was not until a paternity suit was brought against him that the school actually addressed this vulgarity.
  • Its members produce everything from zips and raincoats to paternity tests.
  • Allow for extended maternity leave and the option of paternity leave.
  • There are organizations that are trying to push for paternity leave, but haven't made much headway.
  • Sykes tells me these comparisons are used routinely in paternity cases.
  • If the car's history is complex and paternity uncertain, consider the much disputed history of radio or the telephone.
British Dictionary definitions for paternity

paternity

/pəˈtɜːnɪtɪ/
noun
1.
  1. the fact or state of being a father
  2. (as modifier): a paternity suit was filed against the man
2.
descent or derivation from a father
3.
authorship or origin: the paternity of the theory is disputed
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin paternitās, 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 paternity
n.

mid-15c., "condition of being a father," from Old French paternité (12c.), from Late Latin paternitatem (nominative paternitas) "fatherly care, fatherhood," from Latin paternus "of a father," from pater (see father (n.)). Originally in the ecclesiastical sense; literal sense first recorded 1580s. Meaning "paternal origin" is from 1868.

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

paternity pa·ter·ni·ty (pə-tûr'nĭ-tē)
n.

  1. The state of being a father; fatherhood.

  2. Descent on a father's side; paternal descent.

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 paternity

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for paternity

14
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with paternity