[ef-awr, ef-er]
noun, plural eph·ors, eph·or·i [ef-uh-rahy] /ˈɛf əˌraɪ/.
  1. one of a body of magistrates in various ancient Dorian states, especially at Sparta, where a body of five was elected annually by the people.

Origin of ephor

1580–90; < Latin ephorus < Greek éphoros overseer, guardian, ruler (Compare ephorân to look over, equivalent to ep- ep- + horân to see, look)
Related formseph·or·al, adjectiveeph·or·ate [ef-uh-reyt, -er-it] /ˈɛf əˌreɪt, -ər ɪt/, eph·or·al·ty [ef-er-uh l-tee] /ˈɛf ər əl ti/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ephor


noun plural -ors or -ori (-əˌraɪ)
  1. (in ancient Greece) one of a board of senior magistrates in any of several Dorian states, esp the five Spartan ephors, who were elected by vote of all full citizens and who wielded effective power
Derived Formsephoral, adjectiveephorate, noun

Word Origin for ephor

C16: from Greek ephoros, from ephoran to supervise, from epi- + horan to look
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 ephor

"Spartan magistrate," 1580s, from Greek ephoros "overseer," from epi- "over" (see epi-) + horan "to see" (see warrant (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper