WORD Wednesdays: gyneocracy

WORD Wednesday is an opportunity to showcase cool words each week and share them, and I’m moving it over here from my Art•Spirit•Nature blog so that more writers will enjoy it. I get most of my new words from a cool site called Wordnik, which has a Word-of-the-Day feature.

Other sites with Word-of-the-Day include Mirriam-Webster, WordSmith, WordThink, and the NY Times Learning blog.

I found this word particularly appropriate:



from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Government by women.
  • n. A society ruled by women.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Government by a woman or by women; female power or rule.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a political system governed by a woman


Greek gunaikokratiā : gunaiko-, gyneco- + -kratiā, -cracy.

from the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Neologism, no etymology, but constructed from Greek gune, -aikos (γυνή, -αικος) ‘woman’ and kratos (κράτος) ‘power’. Disambiguates usage of matriarchy: gynecocracy refers to societies ruled by women, distinct from matrilineal bequeathing of property and matrilocal residence of brides. (Wiktionary)


“The explanations that have hitherto been offered to account for the transition from gynecocracy to androcracy have invariably been biased by the ideology of the extant Men’s State.”

The Dominant Sex: A Study in the Sociology of Sex Differentiation, by Mathilde and Mathias Vaerting

“Descent in the female line, not uncommonly found among primitive peoples, undoubtedly tended to place women in a position of great influence; but it by no means necessarily involved any gynecocracy, or rule of women, and such rule is merely a hypothesis which by some enthusiasts has been carried to absurd lengths.”


One thought on “WORD Wednesdays: gyneocracy

  1. Pingback: WORD Wednesday is moving…. | Art, Spirit, Nature

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