- the female head of a family or tribal line.
- a woman who is the founder or dominant member of a community or group.
- a venerable old woman.
Origin of matriarch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for matriarch
One of those families is the Cucho family, headed by 69-year-old matriarch Natividad Cucho Velasquez.Put Down That Cashmere. There’s a New Luxury Wool in Town
December 2, 2013
In the main house lived his eighty-year-old nonna, the matriarch, reliably dressed in black in the custom of Italian widows.A Young Chef Travels to Calabria, Italy, and Learns the Old Ways of Cooking
November 28, 2013
If indeed the suit was a gamble by the Jackson matriarch to amass a sizable bank account of her own, it did not pay off.Sorry, Mrs. Jackson: How the King of Pop’s Mother Lost Her Billion-Dollar Lawsuit
October 3, 2013
The clamor would have ceased as the matriarch led a retreat and the danger would have seemed to pass.How to Capture an Elephant: Excerpt From Michael Daly’s ‘Topsy’
July 8, 2013
Listen to her story about making jewelry with Rebecca Lolosoli, matriarch of the Umoja Uaso women's village.Women in the World 2011 Video Highlights
February 10, 2012
Matriar′chalism, the character of possessing matriarchal customs; Matriar′chate, the position of a matriarch.
The fault of the drama lies in the uncertain conception of the characters, and particularly of that of the Matriarch herself.Henrik Ibsen
- a woman who dominates an organization, community, etc
- the female head of a tribe or family, esp in a matriarchy
- a very old or venerable woman
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
Word Origin and History for matriarch
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper