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[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for patrimony
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One of them, the former probably, was the patrimony of Llywarch Hen.

    Y Gododin Aneurin
  • Still, fate can rob us of our patrimony, she replied, after a pause.

    The Fifth String

    John Philip Sousa
  • “Of that patrimony I now have thirteen cents left,” Don continued.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • But I have lost all my patrimony, and I will accept nothing.

  • Within a day or so he came to consult me about a mortgage on his patrimony.

    'Charge It' Irving Bacheller
  • I only wish I didn't have to put all my patrimony into Madame Tancredi's pocket.

    Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge Pemberton Ginther
  • The great bell was taken to Novgorod, and Vassili visited "his patrimony."

    The Story of Russia R. Van Bergen, M.A.
  • Ivan demanded tribute for Iourief which he claimed as his "patrimony."

    The Story of Russia R. Van Bergen, M.A.
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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