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matriarchy

Definitions of Matriarchy

  1. (noun) A society, system, or group in which women dominate men and have the power and authority.
  2. (noun) A group or family where the mother or oldest female is the head of the family with descent typically traced through the female line.

Matriarchy Pronunciation

Usage Notes

  • Plural: matriarchies
  • The existence of a true matriarchal society is often debated in the social sciences.
  • In contrast to a matriarchy, a patriarchy is a society or group in which men dominate women and have the power and authority.
  • Also called matriarchate.
  • A (noun) matriarch or (noun) matriarchist (adverb) matriarchally heads a (adjective) matriarchic or (adjective) matriarchal society.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

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Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Matriarchy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “matriarchy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 22, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/matriarchy/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

matriarchy. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/matriarchy/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “matriarchy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/matriarchy/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“matriarchy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 22 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/matriarchy/>.