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primogeniture

[ prahy-muh-jen-i-cher, -choor ]
/ ˌpraɪ məˈdʒɛn ɪ tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər /
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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.Compare postremogeniture.

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Origin of primogeniture

First recorded in 1585–95; from Medieval Latin prīmōgenitūra “a first birth,” equivalent to Latin prīmō “at first” + genitūra, equivalent to genit(us) (past participle of gignere “to beget”) + -ūra noun suffix; see kin, -ure
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. 2021

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
primogenitary (ˌpraɪməʊˈdʒɛnɪtərɪ, -trɪ), adjective
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

Cultural 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.
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