[ ma-truh-lin-ee-uhl, mey- ]

  1. inheriting or determining descent through the female line.

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Origin of matrilineal

First recorded in 1900–05; matri- + lineal
  • Also mat·ri·lin·e·ar [ma-truh-lin-ee-er, mey-] /ˌmæ trəˈlɪn i ər, ˌmeɪ-/ .

Other words from matrilineal

  • mat·ri·lin·e·al·ly, mat·ri·lin·e·ar·ly, adverb

Words Nearby matrilineal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use matrilineal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for matrilineal


/ (ˌmætrɪˈlɪnɪəl, ˌmeɪ-) /

  1. relating to descent or kinship through the female line

Derived forms of matrilineal

  • matrilineally, 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

Cultural definitions for matrilineal


[ (mat-ruh-lin-ee-uhl) ]

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.