One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The female head of a family or household.Compare with paterfamilias
- ‘On visiting the Ancestral Perch last weekend, the pending ethics upgrade of our electricity was discussed with the materfamilias.’
- ‘The debut album's lead single is a guitar-driven sing along that recalls the flamboyant heyday of Elton John as it charts a champagne fueled evening out on the town with the materfamilias.’
- ‘The restaurant, whose kitchen is presided over by a distinguished-looking materfamilias, is one of those too-rare places where I order with confidence, knowing I will seldom be disappointed.’
- ‘It focuses on the relationship between materfamilias Diane and her daughter Love (herself a new mother), two strong-willed, articulate women, whose bond is strong but fraught with conflict.’
- ‘She shines as the materfamilias who has passed her navel-gazing tendencies to her daughters.’
Latin, from mater ‘mother’ + familias, old genitive form of familia ‘family’.
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