pa·​tri·​ar·​chal | \ ˌpā-trē-ˈär-kəl How to pronounce patriarchal (audio) \

Definition of patriarchal

: of, relating to, or being a patriarch or patriarchy a patriarchal culture a patriarchal religion

Examples of patriarchal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gareth Newham, Head of the Justice and Violence Prevention program at the Institute of Security Studies told CNN not much will change as long as men hold onto patriarchal beliefs that suppress women. Bukola Adebayo, CNN, "South Africa has the continent's highest Covid-19 cases. Now it has another pandemic on its hands," 19 June 2020 The surrogate family or family structure, in Lewis' poetic reclaiming of the term, replaces and improves upon those traditional, limited, patriarchal family forms with new and fluid networks of care. Laurie Penny, Wired, "Live Wrong and Prosper: Covid-19 and the Future of Families," 18 June 2020 Most of the countries the leaders come from are patriarchal, where the effects of machismo are significant. Washington Post, "Clinging to hope of a life in the U.S., migrants in this Mexican camp united to practice their own brand of democracy," 3 June 2020 Margaret Atwood is best known as the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian vision of patriarchal control that established her as a complicated literary prophet in the #MeToo era. Margaret Atwood, The Atlantic, "Variation on the Word," 31 May 2020 Nini grew up in a bleakly patriarchal society according to the Mesopotamian scholar and author of Women in Ancient Mesopotamia, Karen Nemet‐Nejat. Cody Cassidy, Time, "Who Discovered Soap? What to Know About the Origins of the Life-Saving Substance," 5 May 2020 Mullin always appreciated how Carnesecca — still, at 93, a patriarchal presence around St. John’s — became less demanding in the face of adversity. Harvey Araton, New York Times, "Chris Mullin Preaches the Power of One Day at a Time," 6 Mar. 2018 The virus and the pandemic have illustrated some real issues with a very patriarchal, top-down healthcare system that doesn’t always have the well-being of women first and foremost. Alexandra Ossola, Quartz, "The challenges of supporting pregnant women during Covid-19, from a midwife," 30 Apr. 2020 North Korea is a notoriously patriarchal country, where women are expected to be dutiful and subordinate wives and doting mothers before all else. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "What Kim Yo Jong's rise to the top says -- and doesn't say -- about being a woman in North Korea," 2 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patriarchal.' 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 patriarchal

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of patriarchal was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Patriarchal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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