Something patrilineal is related to your relationship with your father, or to your family's line of male descendants — for example, your father, his father, his father's father, and so on.

A genetic condition that spreads in a patrilineal way might be passed from your grandfather, through your dad, and finally to you. And through history, some monarchies have been patrilineal, meaning that when a king dies, only his son can succeed him (and not his daughter). Patrilineal adds the Latin prefix patri-, or "father," to lineal, from the Late Latin linealis, "relating to a line."

Definitions of patrilineal

adj based on or tracing descent through the male line

“a patrilineal society”
direct, lineal
in a straight unbroken line of descent from parent to child

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