[puh-tur-ni-tee] /pəˈtɜr nɪ ti/

the state of being a father; fatherhood.
derivation or acquirement from a father.
origin or authorship.
noting or pertaining to a legal dispute in which an unwed mother accuses a man of being the father of her child:
a paternity suit.

descent or derivation from a father
authorship or origin: the paternity of the theory is disputed

mid-15c., “condition of being a father,” from Old French paternité (12c.), from Late Latin paternitatem (nominative paternitas) “fatherly care, fatherhood,” from Latin paternus “of a father,” from pater (see father (n.)). Originally in the ecclesiastical sense; literal sense first recorded 1580s. Meaning “paternal origin” is from 1868.

paternity pa·ter·ni·ty (pə-tûr’nĭ-tē)


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