Definition of matriarchal in US English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting a form of social organization in which a woman is the head.

    ‘a matriarchal society’
    • ‘Their choice was restricted to all eligible girls of matriarchal families.’
    • ‘She is the epitome of the black matriarchal symbol of strength.’
    • ‘I was from a landlord family that followed the matriarchal system.’
    • ‘In terms of domestic organization and management, kin groups are matriarchal in nature.’
    • ‘In southern India, joint families often are matriarchal.’
    • ‘It's an older, more matriarchal religion.’
    • ‘They came from a matriarchal tradition that had worked for centuries.’
    • ‘My family is a very matriarchal one, so my grandmother calls the shots.’
    • ‘Choctaw culture is matrilineal and, in many respects, matriarchal.’
    • ‘The novel had enough impact to transform the patriarchal society into a matriarchal one.’
    1. 1.1 Denoting an older woman who is powerful within a family or organization.
      ‘an overbearing matriarchal figure’
      • ‘To hundreds of thousands of viewers, she was the matriarchal Hannah Finnegan in the long-running TV serial.’
      • ‘A young curate has moved to his first parish and is living under the watchful eye of his matriarchal landlady at the instruction of the vicar.’
      • ‘Despite brave efforts by the respective actors as the unpredictable inventor father and the matriarchal grandmother, no one feels comfortable.’
      • ‘What we get are incredibly evil criminals who brandish weapons and shoot wantonly at our heroes, along with exaggerated matriarchal stereotypes.’
      • ‘On the one hand, her matriarchal great-grandmother has to be pleased that she's getting married.’
      • ‘It was only his second day of work, and the mage's stern, matriarchal demeanor somewhat startled him.’
      • ‘The matriarchal trouper and her feckless daughter bear more than a passing resemblance to a real-life theatrical pair from the past.’
      • ‘He was genuinely happy to see the older matriarchal woman.’
      • ‘As his peppery matriarchal wife, she is up to her somewhat frayed tricks and would have done better to make the character not quite so sexless.’
      • ‘True poets derive their gifts from the Muse, the primitive, matriarchal Moon Goddess, once dominant but now disastrously dispossessed by male values of reason and logic.’