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matriarch

[mey-tree-ahrk] /ˈmeɪ triˌɑrk/
noun
1.
the female head of a family or tribal line.
2.
a woman who is the founder or dominant member of a community or group.
3.
a venerable old woman.
Origin
1600-1610
1600-10; matri- + -arch
Related forms
matriarchal, matriarchic, adjective
matriarchalism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for matriarchic

matriarch

/ˈmeɪtrɪˌɑːk/
noun
1.
a woman who dominates an organization, community, etc
2.
the female head of a tribe or family, esp in a matriarchy
3.
a very old or venerable woman
Derived Forms
matriarchal, (rare) matriarchic, adjective
matriarchalism, noun
Word Origin
C17: from matri- + -arch, by false analogy with patriarch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for matriarchic
matriarch
c.1600, from matri-, comb. form of L. mater (gen. matris) "mother" (see mother) + -arch, abstracted from patriarch.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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