matriarchy

noun

ma·​tri·​ar·​chy ˈmā-trē-ˌär-kē How to pronounce matriarchy (audio)
plural matriarchies
1
: a family, group, or state governed by a matriarch
2
: a system of social organization in which descent and inheritance are traced through the female line

Examples of matriarchy in a Sentence

For 20 years, the country was ruled as a matriarchy. a region in which matriarchy is practiced
Recent Examples on the Web Much of it, indeed, comes down on the progressive side of the ledger: goddesses and matriarchies, relatively peaceful tribes that existed before the invention of war, preagricultural egalitarianism. William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2024 Narrated by Oscar winner and Glamour Woman of the Year Angela Bassett, Queens examines the impact of the matriarchy from the smallest ant to the largest land and sea mammals. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 7 Feb. 2024 In Barbie’s Dreamhouse — now restored alongside the matriarchy — Ken still struggles with his identity. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 7 Feb. 2024 Like, you’re not allowed to make a song about matriarchy. Jill Mapes, Pitchfork, 20 Nov. 2023 Aside from matriarchies as detailed above, the study also identified five other ways societies decide lineage. Eliza Anyangwe and Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 3 Aug. 2023 But even social orders don't exist in a binary choice between patriarchies and matriarchies. Eliza Anyangwe and Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 3 Aug. 2023 This doesn't, however, mean that men are discriminated against in matriarchies. Eliza Anyangwe and Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 3 Aug. 2023 Among the matriarchy, there’s President Barbie (Issa Rae), physicist Barbie (Emma Mackey) and pregnant Midge (Emerald Fennell), who was in fact introduced and then quickly discontinued by Mattel. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 18 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'matriarchy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of matriarchy was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near matriarchy

Cite this Entry

“Matriarchy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matriarchy. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

matriarchy

noun
ma·​tri·​ar·​chy ˈmā-trē-ˌär-kē How to pronounce matriarchy (audio)
plural matriarchies
1
: a family, group, or state headed by a matriarch
2
: a system of social organization in which descent and inheritance are traced through the female line

More from Merriam-Webster on matriarchy

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