Definition of materfamilias in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌmātərfəˈmilēəs/ Pronunciation: /ˌmätər-/

noun (plural matresfamilias /ˌmäˌtrās-/ /ˌmātərz-/)

The female head of a family or household. Compare with paterfamilias.
Example sentences
  • On visiting the Ancestral Perch last weekend, the pending ethics upgrade of our electricity was discussed with the materfamilias.
  • The restaurant, whose kitchen is presided over by a distinguished-looking materfamilias, is one of those too-rare places where I order with confidence, knowing I will seldom be disappointed.
  • The debut album's lead single is a guitar-driven sing along that recalls the flamboyant heyday of Elton John as it charts a champagne fueled evening out on the town with the materfamilias.


Latin, from mater 'mother' + familias, old genitive form of familia 'family'.

Words that rhyme with materfamilias


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ma·ter·fa·mil·i·as

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.