Definition of archon in English:



  • Each of the nine chief magistrates in ancient Athens.

    • ‘At the beginning of every year, dramatists submitted their plays to the archon, or chief magistrate.’
    • ‘He writes, ‘the meaning of ‘archive,’ its only meaning, comes to it from the Greek arkheion: initially a house, a domicile, an address, the residence of the superior magistrates, the archons, those who commanded’ .’
    • ‘Interestingly, Meritt initially raised 412/1 as a possibility, restoring Kallias as the archon, an individual whose demotic matched that preserved on fragment 1, Skambonides.’
    • ‘In his role as archon, Solon cancelled all agricultural debts and announced that all slaves were free.’


Late 16th century from Greek arkhōn ‘ruler’, noun use of the present participle of arkhein ‘to rule’.