[ pa-truh-moh-nee ]
/ ˈpæ trəˌmoʊ ni /

noun, plural pat·ri·mo·nies.

an estate inherited from one's father or ancestors.
any quality, characteristic, etc., that is inherited; heritage.
the aggregate of one's property.
the estate or endowment of a church, religious house, etc.

Nearby words

  1. patrilineal,
  2. patrilinear,
  3. patriliny,
  4. patrilocal,
  5. patrimonial,
  6. patriot,
  7. patriot act,
  8. patriotic,
  9. patriotism,
  10. patriots' day

Origin of patrimony

1300–50; Middle English patrimonie < Middle French < Latin patrimōnium. See patri-, -mony

Related formspat·ri·mo·ni·al, adjectivepat·ri·mo·ni·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for patrimony

British Dictionary definitions for patrimony


/ (ˈpætrɪmənɪ) /

noun plural -nies

an inheritance from one's father or other ancestor
the endowment of a church
Derived Formspatrimonial (ˌpætrɪˈməʊnɪəl), adjectivepatrimonially, adverb

Word Origin for patrimony

C14 patrimoyne, from Old French, from Latin patrimonium paternal inheritance

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 patrimony



mid-14c., "property of the Church," also "spiritual legacy of Christ," from Old French patremoine "heritage, patrimony" (12c.) and directly from Latin patrimonium "a paternal estate, inheritance from a father," also figurative, from pater (genitive patris) "father" (see father (n.)) + -monium, suffix signifying action, state, condition. Meaning "property inherited from a father or ancestors" is attested from late 14c. Figurative sense of "immaterial things handed down from the past" is from 1580s. A curious sense contrast to matrimony.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper