- the state or fact of being the firstborn of children of the same parents.
- Law. the system of inheritance or succession by the firstborn, specifically the eldest son.
Origin of primogeniture
Examples from the Web for primogeniture
The modern equivalent of primogeniture in the U.S., as Schine sees it, is divorce.This Week's Hot Reads
The Daily Beast
February 18, 2010
We need not hesitate to attribute the change to the influence of Primogeniture.
Here then emerges the historical difficulty of Primogeniture.
Socially it appears far more just and reasonable than the custom of primogeniture.Medival Wales
A. G. Little
Then occurred an extraordinary hitch in the history of primogeniture.Shakespeare's Family
Mrs. C. C. Stopes
Yet in the case of primogeniture our opinion would have to be modified.Social Rights and Duties, Volume I (of 2)
Sir Leslie Stephen
- the state of being a first-born
- law the right of an eldest son to succeed to the estate of his ancestor to the exclusion of all othersCompare ultimogeniture
Word Origin and History for primogeniture
"right of succession of the first-born," c.1600, from French primogeniture and directly from Medieval Latin primogenitura, from Late Latin primogenitus "first-born," from Latin primo (adv.) "first in order of time," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (see genus). Earlier it meant simply "fact of being first-born" (1590s).
A system of inheritance in which land passes exclusively to the eldest son. Until the Industrial Revolution, this system severely restricted the freedom of younger sons, who were often forced into the military or the clergy to earn a living.