primogeniture was our Word of the Day on 01/28/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of primogeniture from the Web
When Charles Martel died in 1295, his young son Carobert should have been next in line according to the law of primogeniture.
But during his reign, Sweden’s law of absolute primogeniture was passed.
For hundreds of years, the laws of succession to the British throne have followed male-preference primogeniture –placing all brothers ahead of sisters in line for the crown.
The Succession to the Crown Act, subsequently passed by Parliament in 2013, formalized that the succession order would follow absolute – or gender-blind – primogeniture.
Well into the 21st century British law favored male primogeniture, or that a male child has a greater right to the throne than a female child.
Shortly before older brother George was born, British law changed to make birth order the determining factor in succession, replacing gender — male primogeniture — as the default rule that developed over 10 centuries.
For example, the United Kingdom abolished primogeniture in 2015, ahead of the birth of Prince George.
This put an end to the old-fashioned system of male preference primogeniture — where princes would take precedence over their older sisters.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'primogeniture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In many civilizations, past and present, the state of being the oldest among siblings is a key component of inheritance law. Primogeniture, which first appeared in English in the early 17th century, derives from the Late Latin primogenitura, a combination of the Latin primus ("first") and genitura ("birth"), from the past participle of gignere ("to beget"). For those who are youngest in birth order, a similar word applies - ultimogeniture - but this word is newer (first appearing in English in 1882) and much less common.
legal Definition of primogeniture
Learn More about primogeniture
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about primogeniture
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