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From Latin patriarchia, from Byzantine Greek πατριαρχία (patriarkhía), from Koine Greek πατριάρχης (patriárkhēs, patriarch), from πατρία (patría) and ἄρχω (árkhō).



patriarchy (plural patriarchies)

  1. (anthropology, historical) A social system in which the father is head of the household, having authority over women and children, and in which lineage is traced through the male line.
  2. A power structure in which men are dominant.
    • 1929, Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own:
      England is under the rule of a patriarchy.
  3. (Christianity) The office of a patriarch; a patriarchate.

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