A father reading a story to his children.
The definition of paternal is having the characteristic of a father or fatherhood.
An example of paternal is a child's father's parents.
- of, like, or characteristic of a father or fatherhood; fatherly
- derived, received, or inherited from a father
- related through the father's side of the family: paternal grandparents
Origin of paternalMedieval Latin paternalis ; from Classical Latin paternus ; from pater, father
- Relating to or characteristic of a father or fatherhood; fatherly.
- Received or inherited from a father: a paternal trait.
- Related through one's father: my paternal aunt.
Origin of paternalMiddle English, from Old French, from Late Latin paternalis, from Latin paternus, from pater, father; see p&schwa;ter- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more paternal, superlative most paternal)