from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A high official; a ruler.
  • noun One of the nine principal magistrates of ancient Athens.
  • noun An authoritative figure; a leader.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A chief magistrate of some states in ancient Greece, and particularly Athens.
  • noun In the Byzantine empire: One of a number of great court officers.
  • noun A title assumed by the Frankish barons who established themselves in Greece after the fourth crusade, in the thirteenth century.
  • noun In modern Greece, a person in authority, as a magistrate, a presiding officer of some societies, etc.
  • noun Any ruler or governor.
  • noun In various Gnostic systems, one of several spiritual powers superior to angels, believed to be the rulers of the several heavens.
  • noun In zoology, the human animal; man, as a member of the group Archontia.
  • noun In entomology: A genus of lepidopterous insects.
  • noun A genus of coleopterous insects.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Antiq.) One of the chief magistrates in ancient Athens, especially, by preëminence, the first of the nine chief magistrates.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A chief magistrate of ancient Athens.
  • noun A ruler, head of state or other leader.
  • noun Gnosticism A supernatural being subordinate to the Demiurge.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin archōn, from Greek arkhōn, from present participle of arkhein, to rule.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ἄρχων (arkhōn), a noun use of the present participle of ἄρχειν (arkhein, "to rule").


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  • "A swarm of Jurassic insects and reptiles, allegory of the long terrestrial migrations the Pendulum was tracing, aimed at me like angry archons with their their long archeoptrix-beaks"

    ....Focault's Pendulum

    December 10, 2012