from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Relating to or characteristic of a father or fatherhood; fatherly.
- adj. Received or inherited from a father: a paternal trait.
- adj. Related through one's father: my paternal aunt.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Of or pertaining to one's father, his genes, his relatives, or his side of a family; as, "paternal grandfather" (one's father's father).
- adj. Fatherly; behaving as or characteristic of a father.
- adj. Received or inherited from one's father.
- adj. Acting as a father; as in "paternal filicide" (murder of a son committed by his father).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Of or pertaining to a father; fatherly; showing the disposition of a father; guiding or instructing as a father.
- adj. Received or derived from a father; hereditary.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of or pertaining to a father; proper to or characteristic of a father; fatherly: as, paternal care or affection; paternal favor or admonition.
- Derived from the father; hereditary; as, a paternal estate.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. belonging to or inherited from one's father
- adj. relating to or characteristic of or befitting a parent
- adj. characteristic of a father
- adj. related on the father's side
Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin paternālis, from Latin paternus, from pater, father; see pəter- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French paternal ("of a father") (12c.), a learned borrowing from Vulgar Latin paternālis ("paternal"), from Classical Latin paternus ("of or pertaining to a father, paternal"), from pater ("father"). (Wiktionary)