- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for paternal on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for paternal
Thus, like Michael Corleone, Abel is a man living with a paternal figure looming over his life.The Alterna-‘Godfather’: ‘A Most Violent Year’
December 30, 2014
Barrett had chanced to place a paternal hand on her head as he passed the microphone to the student next to her.11 Children Shot in Milwaukee, One in Her Grandpa's Lap
November 12, 2014
The older brother, Henry McCollum, had come to embrace the real killer as a paternal figure.How the North Carolina GOP Made a Wrongfully Convicted Man a Death Row Scapegoat
September 4, 2014
His paternal grandfather and his father both served in the Air Force.The Army Lied About the Hero Who Died Looking for Bowe Bergdahl
June 4, 2014
It is least accepted when it is cold, challenging, and hierarchical: in other words, paternal - or in other other words, military.The Truth About Women in Combat
March 1, 2013
He gazes at me, as if he were about to utter a word of paternal advice.The Prophetic Pictures (From "Twice Told Tales")
I demurred—I had got the paternal injunction to remain with the horse and cart.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
Do you watch over their conduct with a vigilant and paternal eye?Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
He spoke with a sort of almost tender and paternal gentleness.A Spirit in Prison
He has none but what is received from royal and paternal munificence and bounty.Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete
- relating to or characteristic of a father, esp in showing affection, encouragement, etc; fatherly
- (prenominal) related through the fatherhis paternal grandfather
- inherited or derived from the male parent
Word Origin and History for paternal
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.)).
- Relating to or characteristic of a father or fatherhood.
- Received or inherited from a father.
- Related through one's father.