Definition of patrimony in US English:


nounPlural patrimonies

  • 1Property inherited from one's father or male ancestor.

    • ‘Several crumbling mansions also echo the misfortunes of wastrel sons who blew their patrimony on (as one local tells me), ‘fast women and slow horses’.’
    • ‘Thus, noble and even non-noble families incorporated great amounts of their patrimony into these entailed estates.’
    • ‘According to the law of Abdera, whoever wasted his patrimony would be deprived of the rites of burial.’
    • ‘The modern official formation of the Japanese canon of cultural patrimony dates back to the first cultural protection law of 1871.’
    1. 1.1 Heritage.
      ‘an organization that saves the world's cultural patrimony by restoring historic buildings’
      • ‘They belong permanently to Europe's spiritual patrimony and ought to remain constitutive of its unity.’
      • ‘There was a void of cultural leadership about how to handle the city's built patrimony.’
      • ‘Here art becomes both cultural patrimony and family legacy.’
      • ‘She produced children and added to the family patrimony.’
      • ‘After all, the history of the United States has left a peculiar ideological patrimony.’
      • ‘And once transformed into a narrative, they form part of a common patrimony, available to anyone in the culture.’
      • ‘This saurian symbol of Chinese emperors has been claimed, from the mid-1980s onward, as the common patrimony of all Chinese people.’
      • ‘If there is a religious tradition that I regard as my patrimony, it is the Catholic tradition.’
      • ‘And they wouldn't be considered cultural patrimony.’
      • ‘It is the belief that a population can know its own geologic history, the patrimony of art, the folk art and customs.’
      • ‘The importance of these collections in preserving the cultural patrimony of African Americans in particular and Americans in general is indisputable.’
      • ‘This is an aspect of Iraqi cultural patrimony that is not often addressed.’
      • ‘It was a serious loss of the city's architectural patrimony.’
      • ‘By the early 20th century the conservatives had gained ascendancy and the presidency remained within a handful of élite families as if it were their personal patrimony.’
      • ‘Now this artistic and scientific patrimony is constantly under threat of destruction.’
      • ‘Other projects have included photography work on the architectural history of Sofia as well as on Ottoman architectural patrimony.’
      • ‘In the 1980s, the ‘family’ could no longer be held together and a division of its patrimony became inevitable.’
      • ‘Such places of natural beauty were to be passed ‘as a sacred patrimony from generation to generation’.’
      • ‘The Tibetans aren't quite as keen to sell their patrimony, but nobody's asking them.’
      • ‘Cultural and intellectual heritage is regarded as the property of society at large, the collective patrimony of whole nations and peoples.’
      heritage, inheritance, birthright
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2historical The estate or property belonging by ancient endowment or right to a church or other institution.
      • ‘The most notable elements of the Andorran patrimony are its thirty Romanesque churches, almost all of them small, built between the ninth and the thirteenth centuries.’
      • ‘Norman abbots energetically fought off the encroachments on the wealth and patrimony of the houses on which the abbots' own fates depended.’


Middle English: from Old French patrimoine, from Latin patrimonium, from pater, patr- ‘father’.