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tetrarch Line breaks: tet|rarch
Pronunciation: /ˈtɛtrɑːk/

Definition of tetrarch in English:


1(In the Roman Empire) the governor of one of four divisions of a country or province.
Example sentences
  • Claudius made him tetrarch of the provinces of Philippi and Lysanias, with the title of king.
  • Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea.
  • The same harshness of representation is seen in the portraits of the tetrarchs, along with a stronger emphasis on abstraction as uniformity reinforced the solidarity of the empire.
1.1Each of four joint rulers.
Example sentences
  • Recognizing the emperor's vulnerability, he also chose to divide authority among four rulers, known as the tetrarchs.
  • The sameness of the portraits underlines the tetrarchs' equality, while their embrace stresses unanimity and solidarity.
  • The provinces were grouped into larger administrative units called a diocese, ruled by a governor general who answered to a praetorian prefect, who in turn answered to one of the tetrarchs.
1.2 archaic A subordinate ruler.
Example sentences
  • McKinsey also thinks it is wrong for Matthew to call Herod a ‘King ‘rather than a tetrarch.’


Pronunciation: /ˈtɛtrɑːki/
noun (plural tetrarchies)
Example sentences
  • He instituted a tetrarchy in which two senior emperors ruled as Augusti, supported by two junior emperors, or caesarae, who were next in line to rule, at which time a new caesar would be appointed.
  • The emperor exiled Antipas and awarded his tetrarchy to Agrippa.
  • Four of Herod's sons ruled the kingdom divided into four tetrarchies, so the rulers were called tetrarchs, not kings.


Old English, from late Latin tetrarcha, from Latin tetrarches, from Greek tetrarkhēs, from tetra- 'four' + arkhein 'to rule'.

Words that rhyme with tetrarch

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