1. The father and ruler of a family; one who governs his family or descendants by paternal right; usually applied to heads of families in ancient history, especially in Biblical and Jewish history to those who lived before the time of Moses.
Origin: F. Patriarche, L. Patriarcha, Gr, fr. Lineage, especially on the father's side, race; father _ a leader, chief, fr. To lead, rule. See Father, Archaic.