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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce patriarchy (audio)

Dictionary definition of patriarchy

A social system in which positions of dominance and privilege are primarily held by men.
"The patriarchy has been challenged by the rise of feminist movements."

Detailed meaning of patriarchy

Patriarchy is a social and cultural system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. It is often associated with a set of beliefs and practices that promote male dominance and the oppression of women. In a patriarchal society, men are typically seen as the head of the household and the primary breadwinners, while women are expected to take care of the home and children. Patriarchy also often involves gender stereotypes and discrimination, as well as a lack of opportunities for women in education, employment, and political representation. It is important to note that Patriarchy is not only limited to men oppressing women, but also encompasses a system of power relations between genders, where men hold more power over women, and men of different race, class, sexual orientation, and other identities may also hold different levels of power. Patriarchy can also be reinforced by institutions, laws, and cultural norms.

Example sentences containing patriarchy

1. The patriarchy's grip on power began to weaken as gender equality gained momentum.
2. Breaking free from the suffocating constraints of patriarchy, she pursued her dreams.
3. In a world challenging patriarchy, women continue to shatter glass ceilings.
4. The oppressive weight of patriarchy stifled progress for generations.
5. Feminism seeks to dismantle the structures of patriarchy and promote equality.
6. Her resilience defied the norms of a deeply entrenched patriarchy.

History and etymology of patriarchy

The noun 'patriarchy' delves into its etymological roots to reveal a structure deeply embedded in history. Its origin lies in two Greek words: 'pater,' meaning 'father,' and 'arche,' meaning 'rule' or 'governance.' When combined, they form 'patriarcheia,' which referred to a system of governance where familial and societal power was concentrated in the hands of male family heads or fathers. This concept was prevalent in ancient societies, where inheritance, leadership, and decision-making were typically controlled by men. Over time, the term 'patriarchy' expanded beyond the family unit to describe broader social systems in which positions of dominance and privilege are primarily held by men. It has become a critical term in discussions of gender inequality, shedding light on the historical and cultural origins of such systems.

Quiz: Find the meaning of patriarchy

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Further usage examples of patriarchy

1. The battle against patriarchy is an ongoing struggle for justice and equity.
2. Patriarchy's influence in politics remains a contentious issue.
3. Challenging patriarchy requires collective action and unwavering resolve.
4. Patriarchy's grip on the workplace perpetuates gender disparities.
5. The feminist movement seeks to dismantle patriarchy's stronghold.
6. Empowering women is a crucial step in dismantling patriarchy.
7. Gender equality initiatives aim to erode the foundations of patriarchy.
8. The effects of patriarchy on mental health are often underestimated.
9. Patriarchy's legacy lingers, but progress towards equality persists.
10. Women's voices grow louder in the fight against patriarchy.
11. Patriarchy's impact on family dynamics can be deeply ingrained.
12. Gender stereotypes are perpetuated by the remnants of patriarchy.
13. Addressing patriarchy requires a shift in societal attitudes.
14. Unraveling the complex web of patriarchy demands unwavering dedication.
15. Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property.
16. The patriarchy has been the norm throughout history, with men holding the majority of power and influence in society.
17. The patriarchy has been criticized for its negative impact on women and other marginalized groups.
18. The feminist movement aims to challenge and dismantle the patriarchy.
19. The patriarchy has been blamed for perpetuating gender inequality and discrimination.
20. The long-standing doctrines of patriarchy and imperialism are being subverted from within.
21. The patriarchy has been used to justify the oppression and subjugation of women throughout history.
22. The patriarchy has been challenged by the rise of feminist movements and the increasing visibility of women in leadership roles.
23. The patriarchal society is often marked by rigid gender roles and the expectation that men should be dominant and in control.
24. The patriarchal system is also known for the gender bias and discrimination that it perpetuates.
25. The patriarchal culture has been accused of promoting toxic masculinity and limiting men's emotional expression.
26. The patriarchal system has been the subject of criticism for its negative impact on women, children, and other marginalized groups.



male dominance, matriarchy, equality, egalitarianism


Authority and Control, Authority and Order, Discipline and Control, Hegemony and Hierarchies, Governance and Authority, Social Hierarchy and Relationships, Domination and Power, Social Status and Hierarchy

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