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A woman who is the head of a household or the mother of a family.

[Latin māterfamiliās : māter, mother; see mater + familiās, archaic genitive of familia, household; see family.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl matresfamilias (ˌmeɪtreɪzfəˈmɪlɪˌæs)
the mother of a family or the female head of a family
[C18: from Latin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌmeɪ tər fəˈmɪl i əs)

the mother of a family.
[1750–60; < Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.materfamilias - a female head of a family or tribematerfamilias - a female head of a family or tribe  
head of household - the head of a household or family or tribe
adult female, woman - an adult female person (as opposed to a man); "the woman kept house while the man hunted"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(21) Beverly Taylor, '"School-Miss Alfred' and 'Materfamilias': Female Sexuality and Poetic Voice in The Princess and Aurora Leigh," in Gender and Discourse in Victorian Literature and Art, ed.
Joy is the dynamic materfamilias in this tender, hair-raising, funny novel about three generations of an Upper East Side Manhattan clan.
The Mitchell materfamilias Peggy returns but it's not a happy reunion, as she confesses to Phil that she's not well.
(3)) The characters in the op-era--with the significant exception of Kid--are similarly familiar pop-culture archetypes: the aging hippie, the logically minded scientist, the clownish entertainer, the diva, and the flustered materfamilias. They are a commedia troupe for the twenty-first century: stock characters embodying cliched oppositions (mysticism vs.
Kris Jenner, materfamilias to the Kardashians, surely has that bromide embroidered on a pillow.
Pour faire court, le male adulte est avant tout un paterfamilias et un guerrier tandis que la femme est une mere dans le cadre marital, une materfamilias. (28) Le renoncement a ces codes impliquait pour le contrevenant le risque de se retrouver situe a l'autre bord : la mulier refusant le mariage echappe a sa condition tandis que le combattant pusillanime desavoue la virilite de son sexe.
Grace Winslow (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), the materfamilias and manager of the domestic affairs in this house, is effortlessly charming and intrinsically ladylike, as such women are wont to be.
Many Afrikaner families even had a slave woman from the late 17th or early 18th century as materfamilias. In the Western Cape, it is not uncommon to find a family on the same farm their ancestors had occupied 300 years ago, and elsewhere in the country a century or more ago.
The question, however, is still significant; does this decrease signify the return of the black materfamilias to her rightful post?
Dans l'ideologie romaine, le premier se caracterise par son role actif et la seconde par son attitude passive ou "molle." (7) Pour faire court, le male adulte est avant tout un paterfamilias et un guerrier tandis que la femme est une mere dans le cadre marital, une materfamilias (8) De cette secation decoulaient a la fois des echelles de valeurs, par exemple la beaute de l'homme s'apprehendait differemment de celle de la femme, (9) ainsi que des codes comportementaux fort stricts.