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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?
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.
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.
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.
More contentiously, the author proceeds to question whether primogeniture (the system whereby the inheritance passed to the eldest son) was as ancient or as universal a human practice as is commonly supposed, and he concludes that in Israel (and, indeed, elsewhere in the ancient Near East) the father was free to select his primary heir, and to give whatever privileges and benefits there might be to the son of his own choice.
According to Pathak, the main purpose of most of these texts was to justify the accession to the office of king by a younger brother instead of the oldest brother, to whom the law of primogeniture gave a better legal claim.
Primogeniture, or the preserving of a large estate by conveying it intact to the oldest son in a family, was abolished in the Virginia legislature largely through the efforts of Thomas Jefferson.
While he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1776 - 79), he supported the abolition of primogeniture and entail, the establishment of religious freedom, and the separation of church and state.
OUT has fun at a party His title passed to Hugh under the rule of primogeniture, skipping sisters Lady Tamara, 34, and Lady Edwina, 33.
And, whereas across the Severn, the age-old rule of primogeniture saw the eldest son given the lion's share of privilege - thereby eroding his younger male siblings' power and wealth over time - the Celtic custom of Cyfran could explain what made Wales so unique compared to the rest of Western Europe in this respect.
Abolition of primogeniture and entail led to dissolution of estates, with sales of slave property breaking up families; a wider diffusion of slave ownership among whites led to a stronger proslavery commitment.