Definition of patriarch
1a : one of the scriptural fathers of the human race or of the Hebrew people Abraham was a patriarch of the Israelites.b : a man who is father or founder The newspaper patriarch celebrated his 90th birthday.c (1) : 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 (2) : a venerable old man a whiskered patriarch, spry for his age — Frank Sullivand : a man who is head of a patriarchy
2a : 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 bishopsb : the head of any of various Eastern churchesc : a Roman Catholic bishop next in rank to the pope with purely titular or with metropolitan (see 2metropolitan 1) 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 in a Sentence
Our grandfather was the family's patriarch.
The tribe's patriarch ruled for 20 years before his death.
Recent Examples of patriarch from the Web
For Archie (Bill Theisen), an old-fashioned family patriarch, moving forward involves reaching back, by sprucing up the inn’s backyard and introducing a then-obscure tradition called a fish boil.
The festivities, attended by hundreds of people, celebrated a man who has been a fixture in the real estate and mortgage community for nearly 65 years: the patriarch of The Kislak Organization.
Ventimiglia kills viewers with kindness as the Pearson clan's patriarch, Jack.
When the family’s patriarch adopts the Liverpool street urchin Heathcliff and brings him back to the Heights, everything proceeds to go haywire.
The show, which featured the Home Improvement star as a conservative patriarch grappling with liberal modern culture, was cancelled in May around the network’s upfronts after six seasons on the air.
Newspaper reports patriarch set to retire by summer of 2018 Victor Li would run businesses spanning 50-plus countries Victor Li’s moment may have finally arrived.
The family patriarch, Lee Kuan Yew, is credited with turning Singapore from a colonial trading post into a thriving city-state.
Israel says the presence of its settlers is justified by an ancient Jewish connection to Hebron going back to the days of the biblical patriarch Abraham.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patriarch'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
PATRIARCH Defined for Kids
Definition of patriarch for Students
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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