Everyone likes an avuncular guy, that is someone who is kind and patient and generally indulgent with people younger than he is. The Dalai Lama is an avuncular fellow. So is Santa Claus. Unless you haven't been good.

The word avuncular originally comes from the Latin avunculus, meaning "maternal uncle," and strictly speaking the term describes the relationship between an uncle and his nephew. Uncles, by their very definition, are supposed to be avuncular to their nephews. For many uncles though, Santa Claus is pretty hard to compete with.

Definitions of avuncular

adj being or relating to an uncle

adj resembling an uncle in kindness or indulgence

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