Definition of tetrarch in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtɛtrɑːk/


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.


Pronunciation: /-keɪt/


Pronunciation: /-ˈtrɑːkɪk(ə)l/


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

Words that rhyme with tetrarch


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tet|rarch

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