Etymology
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patriarch (n.)

late 12c., patriarke, "one of the Old Testament fathers," progenitors of the Israelites, from Old French patriarche (11c.) and directly from Late Latin patriarcha (Tertullian), from Greek patriarkhēs "chief or head of a family," from patria "family, clan," from pater "father" (see father (n.)) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon). Also used as an honorific title of certain bishops of the highest rank in the early Church, notably those of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome. The meaning "the father and ruler of a family" is by 1817.

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Definitions of patriarch

patriarch (n.)
title for the heads of the Eastern Orthodox Churches (in Istanbul and Alexandria and Moscow and Jerusalem);
patriarch (n.)
the male head of family or tribe;
Synonyms: paterfamilias
patriarch (n.)
any of the early biblical characters regarded as fathers of the human race;
patriarch (n.)
a man who is older and higher in rank than yourself;
From wordnet.princeton.edu