or mat·ri·lin·e·ar

[ma-truh-lin-ee-uh l, mey-]
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. 2018

Examples from the Web for matrilinear

Historical Examples of matrilinear

British Dictionary definitions for matrilinear


  1. 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 matrilinear



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

matrilinear in Medicine


  1. 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.

matrilinear in Culture



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.