Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A Roman governor of the fourth part of a province; hence, any subordinate or dependent prince; also, a petty king or sovereign.
  • adjective obsolete Four.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English tetrarche, a Roman tetrarch, from Old French, from Late Latin tetrarcha, from Latin tetrarchēs, from Greek tetrarkhēs : tetra-, tetra- + -arkhēs, -arch.]

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