The highest form of bishop, in the ancient world having authority over other bishops in the province but now generally as an honorary title; in Roman Catholicism, considered a bishop second only to the Pope in rank.
In Biblical contexts, a male leader of a family, tribe or ethnic group, especially one of the twelve sons of Jacob (considered to have created the twelve tribes of Israel) or (in plural) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
From Middle English patriark, patriarche, from Late Latin patriarcha; later reinforced by Old French patriarche, from Byzantine Greek πατριάρχης ("the founder of the tribe/family"), from Ancient Greek πατριά ("generation, ancestry, descent, tribe, family") + -ᾰ́ρχης, with some senses likely influenced directly by Latin pāter or Ancient Greek πᾰτήρ. Compare matriarch. Surface analysis patri- + -arch.
Modern English dictionary
Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.
Word of the Day
Get a curated memorable word every day.
Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.