(often initial capital letter) the seven principal concurrent Anglo-Saxon kingdoms supposed to have existed in the 7th and 8th centuries.
government by seven persons.
an allied group of seven states or kingdoms, each under its own ruler.
- heptarch, hep·tar·chist, noun
- hep·tar·chic, hep·tar·chi·cal, hep·tar·chal, adjective
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How to use heptarchy in a sentence
Palgrave inclines to think that London never formed part of any kingdom of the heptarchy.
The Danish invaders expected to set kingdom against kingdom throughout the heptarchy, and subject them all to the sceptre of Odin.Legends of the Saxon Saints | Aubrey de Vere
It, in conjunction with the Humber, divided Northumbria from Mercia during the heptarchy.Traditions, Superstitions and Folk-lore | Charles Hardwick
Woden is claimed by the early Angle and Saxon kings of the heptarchy as their common ancestor.Traditions, Superstitions and Folk-lore | Charles Hardwick
Bede was a Northumbrian priest in the time of the heptarchy.King Arthur in Cornwall | W. Howship (William Howship) Dickinson
British Dictionary definitions for heptarchy
government by seven rulers
a state divided into seven regions each under its own ruler
the seven kingdoms into which Anglo-Saxon England is thought to have been divided from about the 7th to the 9th centuries ad : Kent, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex, Wessex, Mercia, and Northumbria
the period when this grouping existed
- heptarch, noun
- heptarchic or heptarchal, adjective
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