pa·​tri·​ar·​chy | \ ˈpā-trē-ˌär-kē How to pronounce patriarchy (audio) \
plural patriarchies

Definition of patriarchy

1 : social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power
2 : a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy For 20 years the country was ruled as a patriarchy.

Examples of patriarchy in a Sentence

For 20 years, the country was ruled as a patriarchy. a region in which patriarchy is practiced
Recent Examples on the Web Now what are the odds of having a crossover series where all these female forces come together to dismantle the patriarchy? Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 26 July 2022 Until then, exhibitions exclusively highlighting women artists remain a necessary tool in fighting a patriarchy over 500 years in the making among art museums and collectors, and much longer than that across humanity. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 24 July 2022 Carey Mulligan refuses to quit until the patriarchy is overthrown. Hayley Maitland, Vogue, 14 July 2022 From women who were labeled witches and heretics, to the classical characters written by men to perpetuate the patriarchy, the nearly two dozen paintings tell a disheartening but nonetheless of inspiring story. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 July 2022 There’s a patriarchy that breeds domestic violence. Sakshi Venkatraman, NBC News, 7 July 2022 Suffice it to say that the overwhelmingly white professional-class women who don these costumes don’t inhabit a country on the verge of becoming a theocracy or even a patriarchy, but an oligarchy—the harms of which they’ll be relatively spared from. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 5 May 2022 Experts say the case – both the verdict and the surrounding media circus – is a loss for survivors of domestic violence and free speech and a win for the forces of privilege and patriarchy. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 2 June 2022 In other words, trust the ones who have been fighting the hardest and the longest for autonomy; engaged in a struggle for freedom from patriarchy and misogyny even when enslaved for centuries. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of patriarchy

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of patriarchy was in 1632

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Patriarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on patriarchy

Nglish: Translation of patriarchy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about patriarchy


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