Simple Definition of patriarch
: a man who controls a family, group, or government
: an official (called a bishop) of very high rank in the Orthodox Church
Full Definition of patriarch
1 a : one of the scriptural fathers of the human race or of the Hebrew people b : a man who is father or founder c (1) : the oldest member or representative of a group (2) : a venerable old man d : a man who is head of a patriarchy
2 a : any of the bishops of the ancient or Eastern Orthodox sees of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem or the ancient and Western see of Rome with authority over other bishops b : the head of any of various Eastern churches c : a Roman Catholic bishop next in rank to the pope with purely titular or with metropolitan jurisdiction
3 : a Mormon of the Melchizedek priesthood empowered to perform the ordinances of the church and pronounce blessings within a stake or prescribed jurisdiction
Examples of patriarch
Our grandfather was the family's patriarch.
The tribe's patriarch ruled for 20 years before his death.
Origin of patriarch
Middle English patriarche, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin patriarcha, from Greek patriarchēs, from patria lineage (from patr-, patēr father) + -archēs -arch — more at father
First Known Use: 13th century
Rhymes with patriarch
accent mark, acritarch, antiquark, cutty sark, deutsche mark, disembark, double-park, great white shark, hierarch, Joan of Arc, make one's mark, matriarch, meadowlark, metalmark, minipark, oligarch, paperbark, Plimsoll mark, question mark, service mark, stringybark, telemark, thresher shark, tiger shark, trierarch, watermark, water park
PATRIARCH Defined for Kids
Definition of patriarch
1 : a man who heads a family, group, or government
2 : a respected old man
Word Root of patriarch
The Latin word pater, meaning “father,” and the Greek word patēr give us the root pater or patr. Anyone or anything paternal, such as an aunt or uncle, is related to one's father. A patriarch is a father and ruler of a family or tribe. A patriot is a person who loves his or her fatherland or country. A patron is a person who gives support and approval for a project or artist, as fathers support and approve of their children.
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