or mat·ri·lin·e·ar

[ma-truh-lin-ee-uh l, mey-]


inheriting or determining descent through the female line.

Nearby words

  1. matriculate,
  2. matriculation,
  3. matrifocal,
  4. matrilateral,
  5. matrilineage,
  6. matriliny,
  7. matrilocal,
  8. matrimonial,
  9. matrimony,
  10. matrimony vine

Compare patrilineal.

Origin of matrilineal

First recorded in 1900–05; matri- + lineal

Related formsmat·ri·lin·e·al·ly, mat·ri·lin·e·ar·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for matrilineal

British Dictionary definitions for matrilineal



relating to descent or kinship through the female line
Derived Formsmatrilineally, adverb

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

Word Origin and History for matrilineal



"pertaining to or descended from the mother's side," 1897, from matri- + lineal. Related: Matrilineage; matrilineally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for matrilineal




Relating to, based on, or tracing ancestral descent through the maternal line.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for matrilineal



Tracing kinship and descent through the female line. (Compare patrilineal.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.