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[pa-truh-lin-ee-uh l, pey-] /ˌpæ trəˈlɪn i əl, ˌpeɪ-/
inheriting or determining descent through the male line.
Compare matrilineal.
1900-05; patri- + lineal
Related forms
patrilineally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for patrilineal
  • Zimbabweans practice patrilineal inheritance patterns and patrilocal residence after marriage.
  • Sometime before the development of writing, the shift took place from matrilineal to patrilineal societies, then to patriarchy.
  • Both weaverbirds and humans live in extended, patrilineal, patrilocal family groupings.
  • Conservatism thus rejects patrilineal descent, which is accepted by the reform movement.
British Dictionary definitions for patrilineal


tracing descent, kinship, or title through the male line
Derived Forms
patrilineally, patrilinearly, adverb
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 patrilineal

1904, from patri- + lineal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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patrilineal in Medicine

patrilineal pat·ri·lin·e·al (pāt'rə-lĭn'ē-əl)
Relating to, based on, or tracing ancestral descent through the paternal line.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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patrilineal in Culture
patrilineal [(pat-ruh-lin-ee-uhl)]

Tracing kinship and descent through the male line. (Compare matrilineal.)

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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