Share this entry

matriarch Line breaks: ma¦tri|arch
Pronunciation: /ˈmeɪtrɪɑːk/

Definition of matriarch in English:

noun

1A woman who is the head of a family or tribe: in some cultures the mother proceeds to the status of a matriarch
More example sentences
  • We are becoming the family patriarchs and matriarchs and the mantle sits uneasily on our shoulders.
  • Then there's The Boss - the matriarch of the family, a lovely lady and very much the driving force behind the restaurant.
  • Historically, soap storylines built around families, matriarchs, and patriarchs have not been diverse.
1.1An older woman who is powerful within a family or organization: a domineering matriarch
More example sentences
  • Strong, beautiful and powerful matriarchs of your societies, historically it has been you who have lost the most by not discussing this issue.
  • The organization contributed to the development of the matriarch of Philly basketball.
  • There's nothing quite like a domineering matriarch to fall in love with and Streep not only neuters her on-screen male counterparts but the audience as well.

Derivatives

matriarchate

1
noun
Example sentences
  • This is tantamount to accepting a new social order consisting of a matriarchate at the bottom of the social ladder, with female-headed broken families instituted as a way of life on the basis that everything's ok if mom is working.
  • It is often used as the ultimate authority in the Goddess community on subjects as diverse as the origin of the belief in a cat's nine lives to the existence of ‘the matriarchate.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin mater 'mother', on the false analogy of patriarch.

Words that rhyme with matriarch

patriarch

Definition of matriarch in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources