Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A governor of a province in ancient Persia.
  • n. A ruler.
  • n. A subordinate bureaucrat or official: "The satraps of Capitol Hill will not sit idly by” ( David Nyhan).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A governor of a Persian province.
  • n. A petty ruler.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The governor of a province in ancient Persia; hence, a petty autocrat despot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A governor of a province under the ancient Persian monarchy; hence, a viceroy or petty prince acting under an autocratic superior; figuratively, a despotic official under a tyrant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a governor of a province in ancient Persia

Etymologies

Middle English satrape, from Old French, from Latin satrapēs, from Greek, from Old Persian khshathrapāvā, protector of the province : khshathra-, realm, province + pāvā, protector; see pā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English satrape, from Latin satrapēs, from Ancient Greek σατράπης (satrápēs), from Old Persian 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎱𐎠𐎺𐎠 (xšaçapāvā, "protector of the province"), from 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 (xšaça-, "realm, province") and *pāvā ("protector"), from verbal root √pā ("to protect"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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