Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
the term in ethnology for the form of conjugal residence in which the wife lives in the community or house of the husband. Virilocal residence is a more accurate term for the phenomenon. Patrilocal residence usually arose in the transition from the matrilineal to the patrilineal clan system. In some areas people practiced temporary patrilocal residence, in which the husband and wife lived with the husband’s parents only for a certain length of time, often until the birth of a child, and then returned to the wife’s village—for example, among the Tuaregs of the Sahara.