Definition of matrilocal in English:



  • Of or denoting a custom in marriage whereby the husband goes to live with the wife's community.

    • ‘In one of the most pertinent examples of this, anthropologists criticised matrilocal residence among groups in the Central Highlands for its implied association with a ‘primitive’, benighted phase of history.’
    • ‘She examines the changing and socially intricate relationship between rights to plants and to land tenure in a matrilineal and matrilocal society where land, under women's control, has become increasingly privatized.’
    • ‘After marriage, patrilocal residence - with the new couple moving in with the husband's parents - is more likely than matrilocal residence, although couples may establish independent households if they have sufficient resources.’
    • ‘Residence is also matrilocal, so that young couples go to live with the wife's family.’
    • ‘Although they traced descent patrilineally, they had matrilocal settlement patterns and alliances were formalized through the exchange of women.’


Early 20th century from Latin mater, matr- ‘mother’ + local.