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.

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

Synonyms for patrimony Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for patrimony

legacy, endowment, ancestry, estate, heritage, bequeathal

Examples from the Web for patrimony

Contemporary Examples of patrimony

Historical Examples of patrimony

  • One of them, the former probably, was the patrimony of Llywarch Hen.

    Y Gododin


  • Still, fate can rob us of our patrimony, she replied, after a pause.

    The Fifth String  

    John Philip Sousa

  • “Of that patrimony I now have thirteen cents left,” Don continued.

    The Wall Street Girl

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • But I have lost all my patrimony, and I will accept nothing.

  • Within a day or so he came to consult me about a mortgage on his patrimony.

    'Charge It'

    Irving Bacheller

British Dictionary definitions for patrimony


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