Definition of matriarch in English:


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


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.


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



Pronunciation: /-ˈɑːk(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • This comedy of manners evokes a matriarchal world where the immigrant men are often fumblers, their dignity taken from them in a biased culture, or thugs who try to take what they want by force.
  • Time was when the matriarchal role involved educating the children through teatime TV, taking them to the doctor to treat a mystery malaise, and administering the odd clip around the ear.
  • She represents the matriarchal figure in this society, the extended family.


More 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.’

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Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...