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[mey-tree-ahr-kee] /ˈmeɪ triˌɑr ki/
noun, plural matriarchies.
a family, society, community, or state governed by women.
a form of social organization in which the mother is head of the family, and in which descent is reckoned in the female line, the children belonging to the mother's clan; matriarchal system.
1880-85; matri- + -archy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for matriarchy
  • They create a matriarchy that sustains an off-kilter patriarch.
  • But she was right that the new matriarchy would not survive her.
British Dictionary definitions for matriarchy


noun (pl) -chies
a form of social organization in which a female is head of the family or society, and descent and kinship are traced through the female line
any society dominated by women
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 matriarchy

formed in English 1881 from matriarch + -y (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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matriarchy in Culture
matriarchy [(may-tree-ahr-kee)]

A family or society in which authority is held by females, through whom descent and inheritance are traced. More generally, a matriarchy is a society dominated by women. (See also matrilineal, patriarchy, and patrilineal.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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