[ pey-tree-ahrk ]
/ ˈpeɪ triˌɑrk /


Origin of patriarch

1175–1225; Middle English patriark(e) (< Old French) < Late Latin patriarcha < Late Greek patriárchēs high-ranking bishop, Greek: family head equivalent to patri(á) family, derivative of patḗr father + -archēs -arch

Related forms

pa·tri·ar·chal, pa·tri·ar·chic, pa·tri·ar·chi·cal, adjectivepa·tri·arch·dom, pa·tri·arch·ship, nounan·ti·pa·tri·arch, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for patriarchs

British Dictionary definitions for patriarchs


/ (ˈpeɪtrɪˌɑːk) /


Derived Forms

patriarchal, adjectivepatriarchally, adverb

Word Origin for patriarch

C12: via Old French from Church Latin patriarcha
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

Culture definitions for patriarchs


In the Old Testament, the “founding fathers” of the Israelites: Abraham and Isaac, Jacob, and the sons of Jacob. (See Joseph and his brothers.)

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.