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of or relating to a , the male head of a family, tribe, community, church, order, etc.:
my father’s conservative, patriarchal ways.
characteristic of an entity, family, church, etc., controlled by men:
the highly patriarchal Mormon church.
Contemporary Examples

Men, patriarchal and white, are framed as privileged, arrogant, and unaware of the offense and power they wield.
‘Mad Men’ Highlights Invisible Black People and Stain of Racism Otis Moss III March 26, 2012

It seems that, in doing away with patriarchal authority, we have also, perhaps unwittingly, killed off all the grown-ups.
The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, Sept 8-14 John Boot September 13, 2014

When cultural conservatives seize control of Europe, he promises, “we will re-establish the patriarchal structures.”
Norway Killer’s Hatred of Women Michelle Goldberg July 24, 2011

Because marriage is a patriarchal, sexist institution that should be discarded rather than reformed.
Were Christians Right About Gay Marriage All Along? Jay Michaelson May 26, 2014

And yes, that authoritarian, patriarchal guru-power structure, invariably, always leads to abuses.
Is India’s Fallen ‘God-Man’ So Different From a Megachurch Pastor? Jay Michaelson November 20, 2014

Historical Examples

The patriarchal decree of the government was a good deal of a joke on the plains, anyway—except when you were caught defying it!
Raw Gold Bertrand W. Sinclair

It is a part of the patriarchal custom which regards women as property.
The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley

The government is patriarchal, each man being, by virtue of paternity, chief of his own children.
Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa David Livingstone

It was the portrait of an old man with a beautiful forehead and a patriarchal face.
The Eternal City Hall Caine

The patriarchal religion deified the families, races, nations: the political religions deified kings and states.
The Kingdom of God is Within You / Christianity and Patriotism / Miscellanies Lev N. Tolstoy


mid-15c., “pertaining to a (Church) patriarch,” from patriarch + -al, or else from Late Latin patriarchalis, from patriarcha.


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  • Patriotism

    devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty. Contemporary Examples The party hinted at a lack of patriotism when Gorbachev celebrated his 80th birthday in London. Gorbachev Lashes Out at Putin Anna Nemtsova August 21, 2011 Powell possessed a powerful sense of loyalty and duty and patriotism, all of which meant that he […]

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