a combining form that represents the outcome of archi-
in words borrowed through Latin from Greek in the Old English period; it subsequently became a productive form added to nouns of any origin, which thus denote individuals or institutions directing or having authority over others of their class (archbishop; archdiocese; archpriest
). More recently, arch-1,
has developed the senses “principal” (archenemy; archrival
) or “prototypical” and thus exemplary or extreme (archconservative
); nouns so formed are almost always pejorative.