Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. The state of being the firstborn or eldest child of the same parents.
2. Law The right of the eldest child, especially the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both parents.

[Late Latin prīmōgenitūra : Latin prīmō, at first (from prīmus, first; see per in Indo-European roots) + Latin genitūra, birth (from genitus, past participle of gignere, to beget; see genə- in Indo-European roots).]

pri′mo·gen′i·tar′y (-jĕn′ĭ-tĕr′ē), pri′mo·gen′i·tal (-təl) adj.


1. the state of being a first-born
2. (Law) law the right of an eldest son to succeed to the estate of his ancestor to the exclusion of all others. Compare ultimogeniture
[C17: from Medieval Latin prīmōgenitūra birth of a first child, from Latin prīmō at first + Late Latin genitūra a birth]
primogenitary adj


(ˌpraɪ məˈdʒɛn ɪ tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər)

1. the state or fact of being the firstborn of children of the same parents.
2. inheritance by the firstborn, specifically the eldest son.
[1585–95; < Medieval Latin prīmōgenitūra a first birth = Latin prīmō at first + genitūra=genit(us) (past participle of gignere to beget) + -ūra -ure]
pri`mo•gen′i•tar′y, pri`mo•gen′i•tal, adj.


the quality or condition of being a firstborn child. See also law.
See also: Children
the rights or legal status of the first born in a family. Cf. postremogeniture.
See also: Law
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.primogeniture - right of inheritance belongs exclusively to the eldest son
inheritance, heritage - that which is inherited; a title or property or estate that passes by law to the heir on the death of the owner


[ˌpraɪməʊˈdʒenɪtʃəʳ] N (frm) → primogenitura f


nErstgeburt f; law of primogenitureErstgeburtsrecht nt
References in classic literature ?
Is Richard's title of primogeniture more decidedly certain than that of Duke Robert of Normandy, the Conqueror's eldest son?
His two sisters and his brother, Raoul, would not hear of a division and waived their claim to their shares, leaving themselves entirely in Philippe's hands, as though the right of primogeniture had never ceased to exist.
Like most of the high nobility, who rightly enough believed that primogeniture and birth were of the last importance to THEM, she preferred to show her distaste for the present order of things, by which the youngest prince of a numerous family had been put upon the throne of the oldest, by remaining at her chateau.
Solomon found time to reflect that Jonah was undeserving, and Jonah to abuse Solomon as greedy; Jane, the elder sister, held that Martha's children ought not to expect so much as the young Waules; and Martha, more lax on the subject of primogeniture, was sorry to think that Jane was so "having.
To trail the genealogies of these high mortal miseries, carries us at last among the sourceless primogenitures of the gods; so that, in the face of all the glad, hay-making suns, and soft-cymballing, round harvest-moons, we must needs give in to this: that the gods themselves are not for ever glad.
Under the rules of primogeniture, any male child born to the Duke would become the King even if he had an older sister.
In fact, on the basis of primogeniture, the royal succession in England should have passed on the death of King Edmund Ironside in 1016 to his sons Edmund (who died without issue) and Edward, and on Edward's death in 1057 to his son, Edgar the Aetheling and after Edgar's death (without issue) in 1125 to his nephew, David 1, King of Scots.
He addresses such themes as the origins of Israel, Reuben's incest and the contested primogeniture, Moses and the law, the birth and death of a messiah, and the end of myth.
Finally, Terry Reilly ("This Is the Case") shows how Gorboduc reflects education at the Inns of Court, moots, and contemporary issues of primogeniture.
The Bill's key recommendation can be summarised very briefly: namely, to change our royal succession from agnatic to cognatic primogeniture, which, I venture to suggest, most Post readers would probably agree with.
Similar detail attends Bertelli's discussion of royal birthing rituals in which the genitalia of the newborn male heir were revealed to assembled courtiers at the time of birth in order "verify the sex of the baby" and affirm the promise of future virility--highly significant in societies that practised primogeniture (p.
The author carefully investigates regional differences and finds that the restrictions were strictest in the Alpine valleys of the central Tyrol, where primogeniture reigned, the climate made agriculture difficult and unrewarding, and the lower classes had the fewest opportunities to found their own households.