: one of the scriptural fathers of the human race or of the Hebrew people
- Abraham was a patriarch of the Israelites.
: a man who is father or founder
- The newspaper patriarch celebrated his 90th birthday.
: the oldest member or representative of a group
- the cypress … is the patriarch of native trees, going back to the time of the dinosaur
- —Amer. Guide Series: Texas
: a venerable old man
- a whiskered patriarch, spry for his age
- —Frank Sullivan
: 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
: the head of any of various Eastern churches
: a Roman Catholic bishop next in rank to the pope with purely titular or with metropolitan (see 2metropolitan 1) jurisdiction
: a Mormon of the Melchizedek priesthood empowered to perform the ordinances of the church and pronounce blessings within a stake or prescribed jurisdiction