Definition of paternity suit in US English:

paternity suit

noun

North American
  • A court case held to establish formally the identity of a child's father, typically in order to require the man to support the child financially.

    • ‘At various times he has been charged with assault and resisting arrest; he has been hit with a paternity suit.’
    • ‘New Zealand women become pregnant to members of a visiting force, and paternity suits and things like that ensue.’
    • ‘About a year after we married, my husband told me he was being sued in a paternity suit having to do with a one-night stand before we met.’
    • ‘The driving incident came after the rapper went off in a courtroom in an earlier incident after being served with a paternity suit.’
    • ‘Despite the gleefully lecherous characters he portrayed on his show, he was never involved in any scandal or made the subject of a paternity suit.’
    • ‘Similar to a paternity suit, the owners must prove they do not know which horse sired the foal.’
    • ‘And maybe contest the occasional paternity suit.’
    • ‘Then there was the embarrassing, if unsuccessful, paternity suit stemming from an affair that he had with a former furniture store employee decades earlier.’
    • ‘Now all Hal can think about is the paternity suit that he is sure she will file and that will destroy his marriage and his life.’
    • ‘The one notable exception was in paternity suits.’
    • ‘They also dwelt on a lengthy paternity suit in which he was declared the father of the actress' child.’
    • ‘Nine years of extravagance, fair-weather friends, a stock market crash, a paternity suit and a devastating gambling addiction have left the 38-year-old man nearly penniless.’
    • ‘Commentators use it as their only means of identification, kids scream it to plead for autographs and mistresses need it for their paternity suit claims.’
    • ‘And while the case has been rescheduled for October 13, a woman from Maryland showed up at the court to hit the rapper with a paternity suit.’
    • ‘There have been no very publicly pursued paternity suits or divorce settlements plastered all over the tabloids.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a few men fighting paternity suits have argued, so far unsuccessfully, that ‘forced parenthood’ denies men equal protection.’
    • ‘And finally, the legal issues with paternity suits and visitation rights have all been taken care of with anonymous donors.’
    • ‘This ability to sequence another's DNA is going to have interesting ramifications for paternity suits.’
    • ‘It wasn't until the family filed a paternity suit against him that Grant paid attention.’
    • ‘Consider how inequitable and barbaric we would now consider the immunity that Victorian politicians and gentlemen would have enjoyed if accused in paternity suits by milkmaids or prostitutes.’

Pronunciation

paternity suit

/pəˈternədē so͞ot//pəˈtɛrnədi sut/