9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pa-truh-moh-nee] /ˈpæ trəˌmoʊ ni/
noun, plural patrimonies.
an estate inherited from one's father or ancestors.
any quality, characteristic, etc., that is inherited; heritage.
the aggregate of one's property.
the estate or endowment of a church, religious house, etc.
Origin of patrimony
1300-50; Middle English patrimonie < Middle French < Latin patrimōnium. See patri-, -mony
Related forms
patrimonial, adjective
patrimonially, adverb
1. inheritance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for patrimony
  • patrimony traditionally refers to a family inheritance.
  • When they bought precious antiquities, no one bothered them about provenance or a country's patrimony.
  • They do not set fire to bistros or establish academies to protect their cultural patrimony.
  • Seen in a global context, the restrictions reflect a larger debate about sovereign rights versus the world's patrimony.
  • It may not have time to flog much of this patrimony before it goes to the polls.
  • But whether they add to future patrimony is questionable.
  • Historic preservation is essential to retain our architectural patrimony.
  • It's a moving if slightly schmaltzy tribute to the richness of the city's cultural patrimony.
  • The payoff is keeping the state's natural patrimony intact and available to everyone.
  • Natural resources are seen by many as a national patrimony, meaning all profits should be shared.
British Dictionary definitions for patrimony


noun (pl) -nies
an inheritance from one's father or other ancestor
the endowment of a church
Derived Forms
patrimonial (ˌpætrɪˈməʊnɪəl) adjective
patrimonially, adverb
Word Origin
C14 patrimoyne, from Old French, from Latin patrimonium paternal inheritance
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 patrimony

mid-14c., "property of the Church," also "spiritual legacy of Christ," from Old French patremoine "heritage, patrimony" (12c.) and directly from Latin patrimonium "a paternal estate, inheritance from a father," also figurative, from pater (genitive patris) "father" (see father (n.)) + -monium, suffix signifying action, state, condition. Meaning "property inherited from a father or ancestors" is attested from late 14c. Figurative sense of "immaterial things handed down from the past" is from 1580s. A curious sense contrast to matrimony.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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