primogeniture

[ prahy-muh-jen-i-cher, -choo r ]
/ ˌpraɪ məˈdʒɛn ɪ tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər /

noun

the state or fact of being the firstborn of children of the same parents.
Law. the system of inheritance or succession by the firstborn, specifically the eldest son.

Origin of primogeniture

1585–95; < Medieval Latin prīmōgenitūra a first birth, equivalent to Latin prīmō at first + genitūra, equivalent to genit(us) (past participle of gignere to beget; see kin) + -ūra -ure

Related forms

pri·mo·gen·i·tar·y, pri·mo·gen·i·tal, adjectivepri·mo·gen·i·ture·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for primogeniture

British Dictionary definitions for primogeniture

primogeniture

/ (ˌpraɪməʊˈdʒɛnɪtʃə) /

noun

the state of being a first-born
law the right of an eldest son to succeed to the estate of his ancestor to the exclusion of all othersCompare ultimogeniture

Derived Forms

primogenitary (ˌpraɪməʊˈdʒɛnɪtərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin for primogeniture

C17: from Medieval Latin prīmōgenitūra birth of a first child, from Latin prīmō at first + Late Latin genitūra a birth
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 primogeniture

primogeniture

[ (preye-moh-jen-uh-choor, preye-moh-jen-uh-chuhr) ]

A system of inheritance in which land passes exclusively to the eldest son. Until the Industrial Revolution, this system severely restricted the freedom of younger sons, who were often forced into the military or the clergy to earn a living.

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.