Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A social system in which the father is the head of the family.
  • noun A family, community, or society based on this system or governed by men.
  • noun Dominance of a society by men, or the values that uphold such dominance.
  • noun The collection of men in positions of power, exerting such dominance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A community or aggregation of related families under the authority and rule of a patriarch or the eldest valid male ascendant.
  • noun A system of government by patriarchs.
  • noun The community or ecclesiastical province under the jurisdiction of a patriarch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The jurisdiction of a patriarch; patriarchship.
  • noun Government by a patriarch; patriarchism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A social system in which the father is head of the household, having authority over women and children.
  • noun A system of government by males.
  • noun The dominance of men in social or cultural systems.
  • noun Christianity The office of a patriarch; a patriarchate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a form of social organization in which a male is the family head and title is traced through the male line

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin patriarchia, from Byzantine Greek πατριαρχία, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek πατριάρχης ("patriarch"), from πατρία and ἄρχω.

Examples

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