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

  • adj. Of, like, or appropriate to a father: fatherly love.
  • adj. Showing the affection of a father.
  • adv. In a manner befitting a father.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characteristic of what is considered the ideal behaviour pertaining to fatherhood.
  • adj. Characteristic of fathers, paternal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Like a father in affection and care; paternal; tender; protecting; careful.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to a father.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining or proper to a father: as, fatherly authority.
  • Due from a father; like a kind father in affection and care; tender; paternal; protecting; careful: as, fatherly care or affection.
  • Synonyms Fatherly, Paternal, Parental. Fatherly represents that which is more kind or tender or forbearing; paternal and parental represent that which is more strict or official.
  • In the manner of a father.

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

  • adj. like or befitting a father or fatherhood; kind and protective


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Ward had been told this by Spinney, who took what he called a fatherly interest in St. Cuthbert's, though it must be an exorbitant kind of interest which makes a man recommend a lot of freshers, or anybody else, to mix punch with champagne and port.

    Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate

  • As he watches Tadzio play, Aschenbach feels what he describes as a fatherly sentiment.

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  • And to me they talked in fatherly ways, patronizing my youth and inexperience.

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  • “Dick, boy, your position is distinctly Carlylean,” Terrence McFane said in fatherly tones.

    The Little Lady of the Big House, by Jack London

  • He now saw clearly that all that he had been calling fatherly tenderness, pastoral zeal,

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 08, No. 49, November, 1861

  • More than 170 sons and daughters responded by recalling fatherly advice that ranged from practical to profound, and in some cases, downright peculiar.

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  • Bulger is doing his best to be a leader off the field, recalling fatherly advice when growing up in Pittsburgh and wondering about the Steelers 'motivation when they were out of the running.

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  • He looked at me with the kind of fatherly concern designed to determine who put a dent in the family car.

    Peggy Drexler: When Doctors Don't Listen

  • It also sounds like he was trying to have it both ways - feel like he had a son with only supporting the son and being "fatherly" when he felt like it.

    "$perm wail by donor."

  • And Bushes being Bushes, it's likely the senior Bush has purposely cultivated this "fatherly" relationship to capitalize on Clinton's paternal needs, gain his allegiance, and keep him from publicly decrying the ineptitude of Bush 41's indulged biological son.



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