Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Patriarchal \Pa`tri*ar"chal\, a. [Cf. F. patriarcal.]
Of or pertaining to a patriarch or to patriarchs; possessed by, or subject to, patriarchs; as, patriarchal authority or jurisdiction; a patriarchal see; a patriarchal church.
Characteristic of a patriarch; venerable.
About whose patriarchal knee Late the little children clung.
(Ethnol.) Having an organization of society and government in which the head of the family exercises authority over all its generations.
Patriarchal cross (Her.), a cross, the shaft of which is intersected by two transverse beams, the upper one being the smaller. See Illust. (2) of Cross.
Patriarchal dispensation, the divine dispensation under which the patriarchs lived before the law given by Moses.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
a. 1 Characteristic of a patriarch; venerable. 2 Relating to a system run by male, rather than females.
adj. characteristic of a patriarchy [ant: matriarchal]
Usage examples of "patriarchal".
If, as seems fairly straightforward, a woman can unconsciously contribute to patriarchal institutions and act in accordance with ideologies rooted in misogyny, it stands to reason that a male writer might challenge sexist ideas without setting out on an ideological crusade to do so.
We lunched under the wide-spreading branches of these gnarled and twisted trees, which reminded us of the patriarchal olives in the Garden of Gethsemane, and then, ascending over the monotonous paramo, we stood at the elevation of 15,000 feet on the narrow summit of the Guamani ridge.
The Comandante had still retained as part of the old patriarchal government of the Mission the Presidio school, for the primary instruction of the children of the soldiers,--dependants of the garrison.
There is no plausible correspondence between these cases and the sending out from the ark of the patriarchal family to repeople the world.
Even so, he is always instantly recognizable as the same patriarchal character, forewarned by the same merciful god, who rides out the same universal flood in the same storm-tossed ark and whose descendants repopulate the world.
Why did they not tell us that ma trifocal civilizations fell at the hands of patriarchal invaders, who then borrowed their knowledge while degrading their lands and rewriting their records?
This kind of critique of feminism originated in the work of African-American critics who pointed out that academic feminism had reproduced the structures of patriarchal inequality within itself by excluding the voices and experiences of black women.
Meanwhile, the poor heroine, a sort of everywoman of Florentina, suffered the trials of living in a patriarchal society, where men were so numerous and primitive that life could only have been a kind of hell.
The financial labor-exploitation of the Northern capitalists was held up as humanitarianism, and the patriarchal care of the Southern planter was branded as cruelty, inhumanity, and immorality.
The bread-fruit tree, in its glorious prime, is a grand and towering object, forming the same feature in a Marquesan landscape that the patriarchal elm does in New England scenery.
Rozanov fantasized of a patriarchal, but tolerant world in which homosexuals would be recognised as a sort of creative monastic community, in which prostitution would be reorganised into an idyllic, almost religious evening ritual and in which the onanist would find a way out of his isolation and melancholy.
The six bullocks, yoked in pairs, had a patriarchal air about them which took her fancy.
Maybe a little older, with slightly craggier patriarchal features designed to inspire instant respect in jurors and judges alike, but the same athletic frame and off-the-rack good looks.
Historically, all governments have, in some sense, been developed from the patriarchal, as all society has been developed from the family.
Even those governments, like the ancient Roman and the modern feudal, which seem to be founded on landed property, may be traced back to a patriarchal origin.