Definition of "phratry" []

  • A kinship group constituting an intermediate division in the primitive structure of the Hellenic tribe or phyle, consisting of several patrilinear clans, and surviving in classical times as a territorial subdivision in the political and military organization of the Athenian state. (noun)
  • Anthropology An exogamous subdivision of the tribe, constituting two or more related clans. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "phratry" in a sentence
  • "Membership in a brotherhood called a phratry was desirable but probably not a necessary condition of citizenship."
  • "Both in Athens and Rome there was a division known as phratry or"
  • "We would further suggest that, if this was the seat of a tribe, each of the two divisions might have been the location of a phratry of the tribe, by a phratry, meaning the subdivision of a tribe."