Definition of patrimonialism in US English:

patrimonialism

noun

Anthropology Sociology
  • A system of social organization or government in which a male leader maintains authority through individuals with loyalty to him personally.

Origin

1940s. From patrimonial + -ism, after German Patrimonialismus.

Pronunciation

patrimonialism

/ˌpatrɪˈməʊnɪəlɪz(ə)m/