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

  • n. A high official; a ruler.
  • n. One of the nine principal magistrates of ancient Athens.
  • n. An authoritative figure; a leader: archons of cultural modernism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the chief magistrates in ancient Athens, especially, by preëminence, the first of the nine chief magistrates.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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


Latin archōn, from Greek arkhōn, from present participle of arkhein, to rule.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἄρχων (arkhōn), a noun use of the present participle of ἄρχειν (arkhein, "to rule"). (Wiktionary)



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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