Definition of patriarch noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpeɪtriɑːk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpeɪtriɑːrk//
    Family background
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  1. 1the male head of a family or community compare matriarch See related entries: Family background
  2. 2an old man that people have a lot of respect for
  3. 3Patriarch the title of a most senior bishop (= a senior priest) in the Orthodox or Roman Catholic Church the Patriarch of Constantinople the Orthodox Patriarch
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French patriarche, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek patriarkhēs, from patria ‘family’ + arkhēs ‘ruling’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: patriarch