noun (plural phratries)Anthropology
A descent group or kinship group in some tribal societies.
- Gond society is divided into four groups known as phratries or sagas in Gondi.
- In Classical Athens, for example, when a child was no longer a baby, at the age of three, it would be presented to the family clan, the phratry, and subsequently would participate in the choes festival for the first time that same year.
- Aristotle, at Politics 128036-8, remarks that ‘thusiai’, groups which sacrifice together, are a precondition for the city, along with families, phratries, and other works of friendship.
Mid 19th century: from Greek phratria, from phratēr 'clansman'.
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