a combining form with the general sense “first, principal,” that is prefixed to nouns denoting things that are earliest, most basic, or bottommost (archiblast; archiphoneme; architrave ); or denoting individuals who direct or have authority over others of their class, usually named by the base noun (archimandrite; architect ).
Also, especially before a vowel, arch-.
Compare arch-1, arche-.

< Greek, combining form akin to archḗ beginning, árchos leader, árchein to be the first, command Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
arch- or archi-
combining form
1.  chief; principal; of highest rank: archangel; archbishop; archduke
2.  eminent above all others of the same kind; extreme: archenemy; archfiend; archfool
[ultimately from Greek arkhi-, from arkhein to rule]
archi- or archi-
combining form
[ultimately from Greek arkhi-, from arkhein to rule]

combining form
a variant of arch-

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

archi- or arch- or arche-
Earlier; primitive: archenteron.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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