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

  • noun A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Paternal care or government; specifically, excessive governmental regulation of the private affairs and business methods and interests of the people; undue solicitude on the part of the central government for the protection of the people and their interests, and interference therewith.

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

  • noun (Polit. Science) The theory or practice of paternal government. See Paternal government, under paternal.

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

  • noun the treatment of people in a fatherly manner, especially by caring for them but sometimes being stern with them

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

  • noun the attitude (of a person or a government) that subordinates should be controlled in a fatherly way for their own good


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

paternal +‎ -ism



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "I can take a lot of paternalism, but I was about up to my ears." -Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris

    February 5, 2011

  • ignoring someone's autonomy

    June 14, 2016