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

  • n. A subordinate ruler.
  • n. One of four joint rulers.
  • n. A governor of one of four divisions of a country or province, especially in the ancient Roman Empire.
  • n. The commander of a subdivision of a phalanx in ancient Greece.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a governor of part of a country, especially of a fourth part of a province in ancient Rome
  • n. an officer in charge of a fourth part of a phalanx in ancient Greece

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Four.
  • n. A Roman governor of the fourth part of a province; hence, any subordinate or dependent prince; also, a petty king or sovereign.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In botany, having four centripetally developed xylem plates: said of some radial vascular cylinders.
  • n. A stele which has four plerome strands.
  • n. In the Roman empire, the ruler of the fourth part of a country or province in the East; a viceroy; a subordinate ruler.
  • n. The commander of a subdivision of a Greek phalanx.
  • Four principal or chief.
  • n. One of any group of rulers or chiefs.


Middle English tetrarche, a Roman tetrarch, from Old French, from Late Latin tetrarcha, from Latin tetrarchēs, from Greek tetrarkhēs : tetra-, tetra- + -arkhēs, -arch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The title tetrarch literally denotes one who rules over a fourth part of any country.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • The word tetrarch properly denotes one who presides over a fourth part of a country or province; but it also came to be a general title, denoting one who reigned over any part -- a, third, a half, &c. In this case Herod had a third of the dominions of his father, but he was called tetrarch.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • Herod Antipas is distinctively called the tetrarch in Matt.

    Jesus the Christ A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern

  • Matt. and Luke he is correctly called by the title of "tetrarch," which only implies governorship of a portion of a country.

    The Books of the New Testament

  • "tetrarch" is an obscure term for the modern reader, governor captures the meaning better than king

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • Now this Philip was brother to Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, and both were sons of Herod, called by the Jews the "Great."

    Chapter 17

  • Her sister was wife of Philip, tetrarch of Gaulonitis and Batanaea.

    Chapter 17

  • The tetrarch Herod is an uncontrolled sexual psychotic.


  • Con O'Neill as the roaring, bisexual tetrarch is not afraid to out-Herod Herod.


  • Instead head tetrarch Diocletian sought to enhance the dignity of the imperial office by adopting the glittering trappings more usually associated with an Eastern court.

    Caesars’ Wives

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