Definition of paternity in US English:



  • 1(especially in legal contexts) the state of being someone's father.

    ‘he refused to admit paternity of the child’
    • ‘If these rules on paternity lead to the identification of a legal father, then any other claimant will be excluded.’
    • ‘The children did not belong to the father and often had a legal paternity claim on him.’
    • ‘If the government is serious about encouraging fathers to take paternity leave, they have to do more.’
    • ‘Will Kimberly bond with a baby whose paternity has caused so much pain and whose actual father she may now hate?’
    • ‘The Child Support Agency and the Courts don't distinguish between married or single fathers if the father admits paternity.’
    • ‘Inclusion of the man's name on the birth register as the child's father is prima facie evidence of his paternity.’
    • ‘In Austria new fathers enjoy 10 days paid paternity leave.’
    • ‘There are three legal paternity testing centres in Shanghai.’
    • ‘There is also a useful amendment to the Status of Children Act that will remove barriers for men seeking court orders about paternity.’
    • ‘In the states that began to mandate paternity leave, a slightly greater number of fathers utilized it.’
    • ‘Experts say these are likely to focus on the issue of legal paternity.’
    • ‘This law provides access for paternity orders in the Family Court, which will make them much easier to obtain.’
    • ‘However, such retaliation requires the ability to assess paternity, which is apparently rare.’
    • ‘First, it seeks to encourage more sole parent beneficiaries to establish paternity, and apply for child support.’
    • ‘What action has the Government taken recently to improve processes for people seeking to establish paternity?’
    • ‘That would mean he had to admit paternity to Gabby then pay alimony.’
    • ‘The couple took their son to the Institute of Forensic Sciences under the Ministry of Justice for paternity testing.’
    • ‘The act also defines the legal paternity of the child.’
    • ‘Because the man did not acknowledge his paternity until after the birth, the girl was not granted Japanese nationality.’
    • ‘Often the father denies paternity and will not be associated with a disabled child.’
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  • 2Paternal origin.

    ‘his enemies made great play of the supposed dubiety of his paternity’
    origins, extraction, birth, family, ancestry, lineage, heritage, pedigree, descent, line of descent, line, blood, bloodline, stock, roots, derivation
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Late Middle English: from Old French paternité, from late Latin paternitas, from paternus ‘relating to a father’.