Definition of patrilineal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpatrəˈlinēəl/


Relating to or based on relationship to the father or descent through the male line: in Polynesia inheritance of land was predominantly patrilineal
More example sentences
  • Polygyny is prevalent and even in groups without traditional patrilineal descent, Islam has strengthened male control of women.
  • Because women marry into a patrilineal descent system, the children belong to the father.
  • Why the change occurred is not 100% clear, but is likely a result of the traumas of exile, when many Jewish women were raped, and a patrilineal descent rule would have been a disaster.


Early 20th century: from Latin pater, patr- 'father' + lineal.

Words that rhyme with patrilineal

finial, lineal, matrilineal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pat·ri·lin·e·al

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