• synonyms


[mey-tree-ahr-kit, -keyt]
  1. a matriarchal system or community.
  2. 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.
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Origin of matriarchate

First recorded in 1880–85; matriarch + -ate3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for matriarchate

Historical Examples

  • The term "matriarchate" encouraged this fallacy and has gone out of use.


    William Graham Sumner

  • Even in modern Germany remnants of the matriarchate survive.

  • The matriarchate disappeared and the patriarchate took its place.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for matriarchate


  1. rare a family or people under female domination or government
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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