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[mey-tree-ahr-kit, -keyt] /ˈmeɪ triˌɑr kɪt, -keɪt/
a matriarchal system or community.
a social order formerly believed to have preceded patriarchal tribal society in the early period of human communal life, embodying rule by the mothers, or by all adult women.
Origin of matriarchate
First recorded in 1880-85; matriarch + -ate3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for matriarchate
Historical Examples
  • The term "matriarchate" encouraged this fallacy and has gone out of use.


    William Graham Sumner
  • The matriarchate disappeared and the patriarchate took its place.

    Woman and Socialism August Bebel
  • Even in modern Germany remnants of the matriarchate survive.

    Woman and Socialism August Bebel
  • I said the peoples with whom we are now being brought as a nation into vital relationship may be still in the matriarchate.

  • Let no one imagine that the so-called "matriarchate" of early ages was an ideal condition of society.

  • matriarchate is assumed on this theory to have been universal in prehistoric times.

  • A form of society existed at an early age known as the matriarchate or Mother-rule.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • Under the matriarchate, monogamy was the rule; neither polyandry or promiscuity existed.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • Every part of the world today gives evidence of the system; reminiscences of the matriarchate everywhere abound.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • Bachofen, who has written voluminously upon the matriarchate, recognizes it as peculiarly characteristic of womans government.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
British Dictionary definitions for matriarchate


/ˈmeɪtrɪˌɑːkɪt; -keɪt/
(rare) a family or people under female domination or government
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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