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.