from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, like, or appropriate to a father.
  • adjective Showing the affection of a father.
  • adverb In a manner befitting a father.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In the manner of a father.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective 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.

    NPR Topics: News

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

    NPR Topics: News

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

    Chapter 4: Slaves of the Machine

  • “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.

    Cincinnati.Com - All Local News

  • 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.

    Newsvine - Get Smarter Here

  • 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."


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