[ mey-tree-ahrk ]
/ ˈmeɪ triˌɑrk /


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

First recorded in 1600–10; matri- + -arch

Related forms

ma·tri·ar·chal, ma·tri·ar·chic, adjectivema·tri·ar·chal·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for matriarch

British Dictionary definitions for matriarch


/ (ˈmeɪtrɪˌɑːk) /


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

Derived Forms

matriarchal or rare matriarchic, adjectivematriarchalism, noun

Word Origin for matriarch

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