[te-trahrk, tee-]


any ruler of a fourth part, division, etc.
a subordinate ruler.
one of four joint rulers or chiefs.
the ruler of the fourth part of a country or province in the ancient Roman Empire.

Nearby words

  1. tetraploid,
  2. tetrapod,
  3. tetrapody,
  4. tetrapterous,
  5. tetrapylon,
  6. tetrarchic,
  7. tetrasaccharide,
  8. tetrasomic,
  9. tetrasporangium,
  10. tetraspore

Origin of tetrarch

1350–1400; Middle English, tetrarcha, tetrarke < Late Latin tetrarcha, variant of Latin tetrarchēs < Greek tetrárchēs. See tetr-, -arch

Related formste·trar·chy, te·trarch·ate [te-trahr-keyt, -kit, tee-] /ˈtɛ trɑrˌkeɪt, -kɪt, ˈti-/, nounte·trar·chic [te-trahr-kik, ti-] /tɛˈtrɑr kɪk, tɪ-/, te·trar·chi·cal, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for tetrarch

British Dictionary definitions for tetrarch



the ruler of one fourth of a country
a subordinate ruler, esp of Syria under the Roman Empire
the commander of one of the smaller subdivisions of a Macedonian phalanx
any of four joint rulers
Derived Formstetrarchate (tɛˈtrɑːˌkeɪt, -kɪt), nountetrarchic or tetrarchical, adjectivetetrarchy, noun

Word Origin for tetrarch

C14: from Greek tetrarkhēs; see tetra-, -arch

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 tetrarch



late Old English tetrarche "ruler of one of four divisions of a kingdom or province," from Late Latin tetrarcha, from Greek tetrarkhes "leader of four companies, tetrarch," from tetra- "four" (see tetra-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon). Applied generally to subordinate rulers in the Roman Empire, especially in Syria.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper