a higher magistrate in ancient Athens.
any ruler.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for archon

Historical Examples of archon

British Dictionary definitions for archon



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

Word Origin for archon

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].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper