from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of a body of five elected magistrates exercising a supervisory power over the kings of Sparta.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One of the five annually-elected senior magistrates in various Doric states, especially ancient Sparta, who oversaw the actions of Spartan kings.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A magistrate; one of a body of five magistrates chosen by the people of ancient Sparta. They exercised control even over the king.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of a body of magistrates common to many ancient Dorian constitutions, the most celebrated being that of the Spartans, among whom the board of ephors consisted of five members, and was elected yearly by the people unrestrictedly from among themselves.
- n. In modern Greece, an overseer or superintendent of public works.
Latin ephorus, from Greek ephoros, from ephorān, to oversee : ep-, epi-, epi- + horān, to see; see wer-3 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἔφορος (ephoros, "overseer") (< Homeric ἐπίουρος), from ἐπί (epi, "over") + ὁράω (oraō, "look"). (Wiktionary)