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Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inherit the parent's entire or main estate in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children.

Agnatic primogeniture[edit]

Under agnatic primogeniture, or patrilineal primogeniture, the degree of kinship (of males and females) is determined by tracing shared descent from the nearest common ancestor through male ancestors.

Male-preference primogeniture[edit]

Male-preference primogeniture accords succession to the throne to a female member of a dynasty if and only if she has no living brothers and no deceased brothers who left surviving legitimate descendants.

Matrilineal primogeniture[edit]

Matrilineal primogeniture is a form of succession in which the eldest female child inherits the throne, to the exclusion of males.

Absolute primogeniture[edit]

Absolute, equal, or lineal primogeniture is a form of primogeniture in which sex is irrelevant for inheritance; the oldest surviving child without regard to sex inherits.