(noun) The custom, law, principle, or tradition granting inheritance of a family estate to the first born or eldest child.

Example: The traditional method of succession for the British throne.

Audio Pronunciation: (pri·mo·gen·i·ture)

Download Audio Pronunciation: primogeniture.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • There is vast array of rule variation relating to primogeniture across societies and cultures and the reasons for its use. The primary reason however, is to maintain and consolidate a family’s money and property and therefore their power and influence.
  • Primogeniture inheritance regardless of sex is called cognatic primogeniture, if only a male can inherit it is called patrilineal primogeniture, and if only females can inherit it is called matrilineal primogeniture.
  • Ultimogeniture is the opposite of primogeniture and in contrast, partible inheritance is when inheritance is divided more or less equally among heirs.
  • Secundogeniture refers to inheritance granted to the second oldest child and tertiogeniture refers to inheritance granted to the third oldest child.
  • A type of inheritance.
  • Also called right of primogeniture.
  • Primogeniture used in a sentence: I am lucky, I am the oldest and my family practices primogeniture, so I will inherit the family estate.
  • Derived terms sentence: My brother is the oldest and inherited the family farm because the (adjective) primogenital or (adjective) primogenitary rule.

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