Pronunciation:/pəˈtərnl, /


  • of or appropriate to a father:he reasserted his paternal authority
  • showing a kindness and care associated with a father; fatherly:my elders in the newsroom kept a paternal eye on me
  • [attributive] related through the father:his father and paternal grandfather were porcelain painters





late Middle English: from late Latin paternalis, from Latin paternus ‘fatherly, belonging to a father’, from pater ‘father’

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