Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a patriarch.
  • adj. Of or relating to a patriarchy: a patriarchal social system.
  • adj. Ruled by a patriarch: a patriarchal see.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Relating to a system run by males, rather than females.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a patriarch or to patriarchs; possessed by, or subject to, patriarchs
  • adj. Characteristic of a patriarch; venerable.
  • adj. Having an organization of society and government in which the head of the family exercises authority over all its generations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to a patriarch: as, patriarchal power or jurisdiction.
  • Subject to a patriarch: as, a patriarchal church.
  • Pertaining to or of the nature of a patriarchy.
  • Resembling or characteristic of a patriarch; venerable.
  • Also patriarchic.

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

  • adj. relating to or characteristic of a man who is older or higher in rank
  • adj. characteristic of a form of social organization in which the male is the family head and title is traced through the male line

Etymologies

patriarch +‎ -al (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I'm torn between using the term patriarchal conspiracy and thinking of a term that's less likely to get me laughed of the internet

    Owning the Birth Experience.

  • Encouragement and support do they derive from James, in maintaining the "peculiar institution" whence they derived their wealth, which they call patriarchal, and boast of as the "corner-stone" of the republic?

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Encouragement and support do they derive from James, in maintaining the "peculiar institution" which they call patriarchal, and boast of as the "corner-stone" of the republic?

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Under the systems which we call patriarchal, the modern distinctions between sins and crimes had no existence.

    Froude's Essays in Literature and History With Introduction by Hilaire Belloc

  • Under the systems which we call patriarchal, the modern distinction between sins and crimes had no existence.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects

  • Mr. Cioffi's first essay on Freud, "Freud and the Idea of a Pseudo-Science," attracted little attention when it was published in 1970, partly because it appeared in a philosophy journal and partly because it was overshadowed by another Freud critique that drew a lot of attention that year: Kate Millett's "Sexual Politics," which condemned Freud along with many others for what she called his patriarchal bias against women.

    NYT > Home Page

  • We couldn't help note both books concern the plight of powerless women living in patriarchal societies — and that they were both written by men.

    Commonplace

  • A tale of lust, class, treachery and retribution, Middleton's early 17th-century tragedy (the exact date of composition is disputed) follows the ill-starred loves of three women grappling for autonomy in patriarchal Florence.

    Theater review: Constellation Theatre's 'Women Beware Women'

  • Throughout western history runs a consistent theme, particularly prominent in patriarchal societies, that various forms of contact by an old man with young women improve health and re-create his youth.

    The Vampire…A Continuing Trope? « L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website

  • Although there is a lot less evidence the further back you go (and no written words) it is likely that the control of sexuality (and concomitantly of reproduction) – and not just in patriarchal ways – has been a feature of human society since the beginning.

    Matthew Yglesias » Jessica Valenti on Anti-Feminists and So-Called “Hook-up Culture”

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