from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woman who rules a family, clan, or tribe.
  • n. A woman who dominates a group or an activity.
  • n. A highly respected woman who is a mother.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A female leader of a family, a tribe or an ethnic or religious group.
  • n. A female founder of a political or religious movement, an organization or an enterprise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The mother and ruler of a family or of her descendants; a ruler by maternal right.
  • n. A woman who dominates or is the most important member of a group or organization; in businesses, often the founder or owner of the largest interest.
  • n. A venerated old woman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The wife of a patriarch.
  • n. A woman who holds (to some extent or in some respect) in a family or tribe a position analogous to that of a patriarch. See matriarchy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a feisty older woman with a big bosom (as drawn in cartoons)
  • n. a female head of a family or tribe


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin māter ("mother") + +‎ -arch.



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