1. The relation of a father to his child; fathership; fatherhood; family headship; as, the divine paternity. The world, while it had scarcity of people, underwent no other dominion than paternity and eldership. (Sir W. Raleigh)

2. Derivation or descent from a father; male parentage; as, the paternity of a child.

3. Origin; authorship. The paternity of these novels was . . . Disputed. (Sir W. Scott)

Origin: L. Paternitas: cf. F. Paternite. See Paternal.

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