What does patriarchy mean?

Definitions for patriarchy
ˈpeɪ triˌɑr kipa·tri·archy

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word patriarchy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. patriarchy, patriarchatenoun

    a form of social organization in which a male is the family head and title is traced through the male line


  1. patriarchynoun

    A social system in which the father is head of the household, having authority over women and children.

  2. patriarchynoun

    A system of government by males

  3. patriarchynoun

    The dominance of men in social or cultural systems.

  4. patriarchynoun

    The office of a patriarch; a patriarchate.

  5. Etymology: From patriarchia, from πατριαρχία, from Hellenistic πατριάρχης, from πατρία and ἄρχω.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Patriarchynoun

    Jurisdiction of a patriarch; patriarchate.

    Calabria pertained to the patriarch of Constantinople, as appeareth in the novel of Leo Sophus, touching the precedence of metropolitans belonging to that patriarchy. Edward Brerewood.


  1. Patriarchy

    Patriarchy is a social system in which positions of dominance and privilege are primarily held by men. It is used, both as a technical anthropological term for families or clans controlled by the father or eldest male or group of males and in feminist theory where it is used to describe broad social structures in which men dominate over women and children. In these theories it is often extended to a variety of manifestations in which men have social privileges over others causing exploitation or oppression, such as through male dominance of moral authority and control of property. Patriarchal societies can be patrilineal or matrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male or female lineage respectively.Patriarchy is associated various ideas forming patriarchal ideology that acts to explain and justify it and attributes it to inherent natural differences between men and women, devine commanded or other fixed structures. Sociologists hold varied opinions on whether patriarchy is a social product or an outcome of innate differences between the sexes. Sociobiologists compare human gender roles to sexed behavior in other primates and some argue that gender inequality comes primarily from genetic and reproductive differences between men and women. Social constructionists contest this argument, arguing that gender roles and gender inequity are instruments of power and have become social norms to maintain control over women. Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, religious, and economic organization of a range of different cultures. Most contemporary societies are, in practice, patriarchal.


  1. patriarchy

    Patriarchy is a social system or structure in which men hold primary power and dominate in roles of leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. It also involves the subordination and marginalization of women, where they have lesser roles and responsibilities in society. This system can be seen in different areas such as households, governments, religions, and businesses.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Patriarchynoun

    the jurisdiction of a patriarch; patriarchship

  2. Patriarchynoun

    government by a patriarch; patriarchism

  3. Etymology: [Gr. patriarchi`a.]


  1. Patriarchy

    Patriarchy is a social system in which the male is the primary authority figure central to social organization and the central roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination. Many patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage. The female equivalent is matriarchy. Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, and economic organization of a range of different cultures.

How to pronounce patriarchy?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of patriarchy in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of patriarchy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of patriarchy in a Sentence

  1. Carlos Andres Gomez:

    The hope is... that men and boys might start to reconsider the way they want to be manly, what kind of men they want to be, when you start asking questions challenging the status quo for what it means to be a man, it forces men ... to reconsider all these very destructive symptoms of patriarchy.

  2. Adrienne Rich:

    As her sons have seen her: the mother in patriarchy: controlling, erotic, castrating, heart-suffering, guilt-ridden, and guilt-provoking; a marble brow, a huge breast, an avid cave; between her legs snakes, swamp-grass, or teeth; on her lap a helpless infant or a martyred son. She exists for one purpose: to bear and nourish the son.

  3. Heidi Lehman:

    We are challenging the global system of patriarchy, and with it come risks.

  4. Ravi Verma:

    Affirmative action is a solid step forward because those girls and women who move into the sphere of education and work and acquire additional skills challenge local patriarchy and can change attitudes.

  5. Ellen DeGeneres:

    Ellen DeGeneres from Ellen DeGeneres daytime talk show in 2006. Kathy Griffin explained Kathy Griffin wished there was more of a comradery between female comics. My issue with Ellen DeGeneres is simple, you know, the guys in comedy are so good about sticking together. I feel sad that women don't support each other the way the guys do. Joan [ Rivers ] and I would talk about this all the time. Patriarchy pits us against each other.

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Translations for patriarchy

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"patriarchy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/patriarchy>.

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