matrilineal

adjective
ma·​tri·​lin·​eal | \ ˌma-trə-ˈli-nē-əl How to pronounce matrilineal (audio) , ˌmā- \

Definition of matrilineal

: relating to, based on, or tracing descent through the maternal line matrilineal society

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Other Words from matrilineal

matrilineally \ ˌma-​trə-​ˈli-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce matrilineal (audio) , ˌmā-​ \ adverb

Did You Know?

A person's lineage is his or her line of ancestors. So matrilineal means basically "through the mother's line", just as patrilineal means "through the father's line". Matrilineality is an important concept in anthropology; among other things, it usually determines who will inherit property on a person's death. Though families that follow the European model take the father's name and are therefore patrilineal, matrilineal societies have existed around the world, including among various American Indian tribes.

Examples of matrilineal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This situation allowed the researchers to perform a simple experiment, checking for signs of chronic disease in the matrilineal and patrilineal households. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Internalized gender-focused attitudes affect health, career prospects," 19 Nov. 2020 In one, researchers looked at a matrilineal society in China to explore gender norms' impact on health. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Internalized gender-focused attitudes affect health, career prospects," 19 Nov. 2020 Testing in a matrilineal community changed the situation dramatically. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Internalized gender-focused attitudes affect health, career prospects," 19 Nov. 2020 Some peoples, like the Gitxsan, Haida, and Tsimshian, were also matrilineal — the mother passed on wealth, power, and inheritance to new generations. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 10 Aug. 2020 Some peoples, like the Gitxsan, Haida, and Tsimshian, were also matrilineal — the mother passed on wealth, power, and inheritance to new generations. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 10 Aug. 2020 Some peoples, like the Gitxsan, Haida, and Tsimshian, were also matrilineal — the mother passed on wealth, power, and inheritance to new generations. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 10 Aug. 2020 Some peoples, like the Gitxsan, Haida, and Tsimshian, were also matrilineal — the mother passed on wealth, power, and inheritance to new generations. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 10 Aug. 2020 Some peoples, like the Gitxsan, Haida, and Tsimshian, were also matrilineal — the mother passed on wealth, power, and inheritance to new generations. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 10 Aug. 2020

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

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First Known Use of matrilineal

1904, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for matrilineal

Time Traveler

The first known use of matrilineal was in 1904

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Matrilineal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matrilineal. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for matrilineal

matrilineal

adjective
ma·​tri·​lin·​eal | \ ˌma-trə-ˈlin-ē-əl How to pronounce matrilineal (audio) , ˌmā- How to pronounce matrilineal (audio) \

Medical Definition of matrilineal

: relating to, based on, or tracing descent through the maternal line a matrilineal society

Comments on matrilineal

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