Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state of being a father; fatherhood.
  • n. Descent on a father's side; paternal descent.
  • n. Authorship; origin.
  • adj. of or relating to a lawsuit brought by a woman attempting to establish that a particular man is the father of her child and so must provide the child with financial support: paternity case; paternity suit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. fatherhood, being a father
  • n. parental descent from a father
  • n. legal acknowledgement of a man's fatherhood of a child
  • n. authorship

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The relation of a father to his child; fathership; fatherhood; family headship.
  • n. Derivation or descent from a father; male parentage.
  • n. Origin; authorship.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Fathership; fatherhood; the relation of a father to his offspring.
  • n. Derivation from a father: as, the child's paternity is unknown. Hence Origin; authorship.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the state of being a father
  • n. the act of initiating a new idea or theory or writing
  • n. the kinship relation between an offspring and the father

Etymologies

Middle English paternite, from Old French, from Late Latin paternitās, from Latin paternus, paternal; see paternal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin paternitās ("paternity"), from paternus ("of or pertaining to a father, paternal") + -itās, from pater ("father"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Considering the numerous preferences that the law gives to mothers in paternity issues, I think that fathers can at least have one bone tossed their way.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Sex Discrimination in Child Naming Law

  • Considering the numerous preferences that the law gives to mothers in paternity issues, I think that fathers can at least have one bone tossed theirway.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Sex Discrimination in Child Naming Law

  • I pondered all this the other day, off for a few weeks on a short term paternity leave, as my daughter wandered around our local park, and I reviewed the Buffalo Bills 2009 schedule (impossible) and the San Francisco Giants 'starting rotation (good).

    Nathan Hegedus: Men Are Idiots to Not Fight for Paternity Leave

  • Consultant surgeon Dr Dafydd Woodruff (so I guess we must call him Mr not Dr) finds himself embroiled in paternity allegations (twins no less) all stemming from a locum he did as a young doctor in Moose Creek way out in the backwoods of Canada.

    Ice Trap

  • I don't know why I was so fascinated -- maybe because there's a surviving baby whose paternity is in question, the loss of her adult son a few months earlier, her case going to the Supreme Court, her ever-changing appearance and behavior.

    The Heroism Vacuum

  • Excluding paternity is fairly simple - if the child has a marker allele not present in either the mother or alleged father then, barring new mutations, the alleged father is not the biological father.

    Archive 2004-12-01

  • She calls the paternity challenges by a Los Angeles photographer, quote, "crazy."

    CNN Transcript Nov 2, 2006

  • The use of blood-group determination in paternity actions also constitutes a significant advance in this field, even though the proof is of a negative character.

    Physiology or Medicine 1930 - Presentation Speech

  • Application of the discovery of blood groups in questions relating to the establishing of paternity is based on these principles governing the hereditary transmission of blood groups.

    Physiology or Medicine 1930 - Presentation Speech

  • DNA studies in paternity cases show about 25% of alleged fathers aren’t actually the father.

    Busy, busy milkmen « BuzzMachine

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