The definition of a matriarch is a woman who is a head of a family, or is a powerful mother figure.
Rose Kennedy was an example of a matriarch.
- a mother who rules her family or tribe; specif., a woman who is head of a matriarchy
- a highly respected elderly woman
Origin of matriarchmatri- + -arch
- A woman who rules a family, clan, or tribe.
- A woman who dominates a group or an activity.
- A highly respected woman who is a mother.
- ma′tri·ar′chal , ma′tri·ar′chic
From Latin mÄter (“mother") + +"Ž -arch.