American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See matriarchy.
- n. A hypothetical stage in the evolution of a society in which authority is held by women.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The position or power of a matriarch.
- n. matriarchy
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The office or jurisdiction of a matriarch; a matriarchal form of government.
- n. a form of social organization in which a female is the family head and title is traced through the female line
“The term "matriarchate" encouraged this fallacy and has gone out of use.”
“The matriarchate is a system of relationship according to which the child is related only to his mother and to the persons connected with him through the female line, while he is looked upon as not related to his father and the persons connected with him through the male line.”
“Nor does this all seem to be solely a survival of the historic matriarchate through which all nations pass,—it appears to be more than this,—as if the great black race in passing up the steps of human culture gave the world, not only the Iron Age, the cultivation of the soil, and the domestication of animals, but also, in peculiar emphasis, the mother-idea.”
“Traces of the matriarchate survived to the present among some of the Arabs of North Africa, ancient home of "Libyan Amazons.”
“As in Europe, the change from matriarchate to patriarchate came about only gradually and with much strife.”
“For the matriarchate of Estcarp did have powers beyond any human explanation, and they used them ruthlessly when necessary.”
“Following out these views to their legitimate conclusions, and both experience and observation verify them, it is obvious that there is no evidence of the matriarchate system in Manóbo-land.”
“Raith Cremthainn, but the place where the parents had first met -- which would be an instance of the husband dwelling with the wife's people, as is frequent under the matriarchate.”
“In these lists the mothers are always prominently mentioned, the reason for this most likely being the fact that Edomites attached importance to the line of maternal descent, and yet this fact could hardly point to a matriarchate.”
“Besides, it may be well to append a list of the instances where the father or the mother give the names to their children and so to show the futility of the contention that the matriarchate prevailed of old according to the Scriptures.”
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