[ ahr-chee ]


  1. a male given name, form of Archibald.


  1. a combining form meaning “rule,” “government,” forming abstract nouns usually corresponding to personal nouns ending in -arch:

    monarchy; oligarchy.


combining form

  1. government; rule



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Derived Forms

  • -archist, combining_form:in_noun:countable
  • -archic, combining_form:in_adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Archy1

Middle English -archie < Latin -archia < Greek, equivalent to arch ( os ) or -arch ( ēs ) -arch + -ia -y 3

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Archy1

from Greek -arkhia; see -arch

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Example Sentences

His guys are Archy, an African-American bassist who returned from the Gulf, who meets Nat, a white aficionado of vinyl.

As for Archy, he nursed his cat, sucked his thumb, and looked at his aunt.

Archy was really as good as gold till he met with his accident.

"You could say yes, and not tell a lie, either," returned Archy.

In the meantime, Daft Archy had sprung to his feet, and was staring wildly at the company by which he was surrounded.

Archy was born in the old Sun building, now demolished, once known as Vermin Castle.


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Words That Use -archy

What does -archy mean?

The combining form -archy is used like a suffix meaning “rule” or “government.” It is often used in technical terms, especially in sociology.

The form -archy comes from Greek -archēs, meaning “rule, government.”

What are variants of -archy?

While -archy doesn’t have any variants, it is related to the form -arch, as in matriarch. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for -arch.

Examples of -archy

An example of a word you may have encountered that features -archy is matriarchy, “a family, society, community, or state governed by women.”

Matri- is a form that means “mother,” from Latin māter, while the -archy portion of the word means “government.” Matriarchy literally translates to “government by mothers.”

What are some words that use the equivalent of the combining form -archy in Greek?

What are some other forms that -archy may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form mon- means “alone, single.” With this in mind, what does monarchy literally mean?

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