pat·​ri·​lin·​eal | \ ˌpa-trə-ˈli-nē-əl How to pronounce patrilineal (audio) \

Definition of patrilineal

: relating to, based on, or tracing descent through the paternal line a patrilineal society

Examples of patrilineal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Vampire Weekend’s songs, which stem from patrilineal culture, are also about its fracture. Armond White, National Review, "Vampire Weekend Makes the Best Pop-Political Album of the Year," 10 Dec. 2019 Since the system was based on patrilineal descent, a woman could secure her children’s future by marrying someone from a higher caste than her own. Melissa Pandika, The Cut, "Before I Embraced My Brownness, I Tried to Lighten My Skin," 31 Jan. 2018 The cultures involved are usually patrilineal: ie, the family is defined by the male bloodline. The Economist, "The perils of polygamyThe link between polygamy and war," 16 Dec. 2017 Westeros is traditionally a patrilineal society, so Jon’s claim would traditionally be greater—but now that Cersei is rewriting the rules as Queen of Westeros, who knows? Scott Meslow, GQ, "Did You Catch the Big Twist Game of Thrones Quietly Dropped?," 14 Aug. 2017 More distant or complicated searches for ancestors require either a Y-DNA kit, which tests the patrilineal line, or a mitochondrial or mtDNA kit, which tests the matrilineal line. Wendy Fawthrop, Orange County Register, "What can a DNA kit tell you? A CSUF expert has some answers," 3 May 2017

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

1904, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of patrilineal was in 1904

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Cite this Entry

“Patrilineal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for patrilineal


pat·​ri·​lin·​eal | \ ˌpa-trə-ˈlin-ē-əl How to pronounce patrilineal (audio) \

Medical Definition of patrilineal

: relating to, based on, or tracing descent through the paternal line patrilineal society

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