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.’



/ˈärkän/ /ˈɑrkɑn/


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