• synonyms


[fah-th er-lee]
See more synonyms for fatherly on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, like, or befitting a father.
Show More
  1. Obsolete. in the manner of a father.
Show More

Origin of fatherly

before 1000; Middle English faderly, Old English fæderlic. See father, -ly
Related formsfa·ther·li·ness, nounpseu·do·fa·ther·ly, adverbun·fa·ther·ly, adjective

Synonyms for fatherly

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fatherly

paternal, affectionate, benevolent, benign, forbearing, indulgent, kind, kindly, protective, tender, supportive, patriarchal

Examples from the Web for fatherly

Contemporary Examples of fatherly

Historical Examples of fatherly

  • She laughed as she spoke, and Guillaume laughed with her in a gay and fatherly way.

  • "You should never judge by appearances," said White, with a fatherly severity.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Still they have a fatherly care of the young, and are deeply impressed by sentiments of religion.



  • Blaine put his hands upon her shoulders in fatherly compassion.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

  • My feelings for her were not at all of a fatherly character.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for fatherly


  1. of, resembling, or suitable to a father
Show More
Derived Formsfatherliness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for fatherly


Old English fæderlic; see from father (n.) + -ly (1).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper