noun (plural -arch·ies)
- a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
- a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
- a society or community organized on patriarchal lines.
- mid 17th century: via medieval Latin from Greek patriarkhia, from patriarkhēs ‘ruling father’ (see patriarch)