Definition of patrimony in English:


Line breaks: patri|mony
Pronunciation: /ˈpatrɪməni

noun (plural patrimonies)

[mass noun]
  • 1Property inherited from one’s father or male ancestor: owners refuse to part with their patrimony in the interests of agricultural development [as modifier]: patrimony laws
    More example sentences
    • The modern official formation of the Japanese canon of cultural patrimony dates back to the first cultural protection law of 1871.
    • According to the law of Abdera, whoever wasted his patrimony would be deprived of the rites of burial.
    • Several crumbling mansions also echo the misfortunes of wastrel sons who blew their patrimony on (as one local tells me), ‘fast women and slow horses’.
  • 1.1Valued things passed down from previous generations; heritage: an organization that saves the world’s cultural patrimony by restoring historic buildings
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    • The importance of these collections in preserving the cultural patrimony of African Americans in particular and Americans in general is indisputable.
    • Such places of natural beauty were to be passed ‘as a sacred patrimony from generation to generation’.
    • And they wouldn't be considered cultural patrimony.
    heritage, inheritance, birthright; property, riches, wealth, possessions; legacy, bequest, endowment, estate, bequeathal; Law devise, hereditament
  • 1.2chiefly • historical The estate or property belonging by ancient endowment or right to a church or other institution.
    More example sentences
    • Norman abbots energetically fought off the encroachments on the wealth and patrimony of the houses on which the abbots' own fates depended.
    • The most notable elements of the Andorran patrimony are its thirty Romanesque churches, almost all of them small, built between the ninth and the thirteenth centuries.



Pronunciation: /-ˈməʊnɪəl/
More example sentences
  • In a traditional patrimonial system, all ruling relationships are personal relationships and the difference between the private and public spheres is nonexistent.
  • Of course, this is an additional patrimonial treasure that will increase the notoriety of Arles.
  • They underline the patrimonial structure of society in mobilizing the people.


Middle English: from Old French patrimoine, from Latin patrimonium, from pater, patr- 'father'.

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