ma·​ter·​fa·​mil·​i·​as | \ ˌmā-tər-fə-ˈmi-lē-əs How to pronounce materfamilias (audio) , ˌmä- \

Definition of materfamilias

: a woman who is head of a household

Examples of materfamilias in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But with tact and humanity, this materfamilias has still calmed the waters. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Happy Birthday' ('Fete de famille'): Film Review," 7 Oct. 2019 Though the Roundabout production, which opened on Tuesday evening, stars Elizabeth McGovern as the materfamilias, the story really is Kay’s. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: The Future Is Always Present in ‘Time and the Conways’," 10 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'materfamilias.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of materfamilias

1756, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for materfamilias

Latin, from mater + familias, archaic genitive of familia household — more at family

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Time Traveler for materfamilias

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The first known use of materfamilias was in 1756

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Cite this Entry

“Materfamilias.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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