• synonyms


  1. a higher magistrate in ancient Athens.
  2. any ruler.
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Origin of archon

1650–60; < Greek árchōn magistrate, ruler, noun use of present participle of árchein to be first, rule; see archi-
Related formsar·chon·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for archon

Historical Examples

  • Oils, as I am a Christian, and close to the very palace of the Archon!


    Lewis Morris

  • While at Archon's table he had determined to place his cure in the hands of higher powers.

  • This probably alludes to the government of Solon, when Archon of Athens.

  • Philopoemen had a sharp difference in debate with Archon the Strategus.

  • He corresponded to the Roman consul and the Athenian archon.

    Mesopotamian Archaeology

    Percy S. P. Handcock

British Dictionary definitions for archon


  1. (in ancient Athens) one of the nine chief magistrates
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Derived Formsarchonship, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Greek arkhōn ruler, from arkhein to rule
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for archon


one of the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens, 1650s, from Greek arkhon "ruler," noun use of present participle of arkhein "to rule," from PIE *arkhein- "to begin, rule, command," a "Gk. verb of unknown origin, but showing archaic Indo-European features ... with derivatives arkhe, 'rule, beginning,' and arkhos, 'ruler' " [Watkins].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper