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[sey-trap, sa-] /ˈseɪ træp, ˈsæ-/
a governor of a province under the ancient Persian monarchy.
a subordinate ruler, often a despotic one.
Origin of satrap
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin satrapa < Greek satrápēs < Old Persian khshathra-pāvan- country-protector Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for satrap
Historical Examples
  • The satrap, or governor, had the tribute collected and sent it to the king.

  • The satrap began to open a negotiation with Klearchus and the other generals.

  • As the crowd withdrew to regale themselves with a largess of leben, the daughter of the satrap appeared.

    A King of Tyre James M. Ludlow
  • What could be clearer, therefore, than that he was about to make a dash at the satrap's home in Caria?

    Agesilaus Xenophon
  • The right, which was under the command of the Syrian satrap, Mazseus, made a firmer stand.

  • When he had heard her words, Pharnabazus decided that the woman ought to be satrap.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • The satrap exclaimed at such extortion, and offered five hundred, observing that he would return again.

    The History of Prostitution William W. Sanger
  • Hence the Persians argued that they had been betrayed by the satrap.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • Where a satrap is appointed he has charge of both departments.

    The Economist Xenophon
  • He has made the satrap, as you see, a fugitive and a vagabond in his own vast territory.

    Hellenica Xenophon
British Dictionary definitions for satrap


(in ancient Persia) a provincial governor
a subordinate ruler, esp a despotic one
Word Origin
C14: from Latin satrapa, from Greek satrapēs, from Old Persian khshathrapāvan, literally: protector of the land
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for satrap

late 14c., "governor of a province of ancient Persia," from Latin satrapes, from Greek satrapes, from Old Persian xšathrapavan-, literally "guardian of the realm," from xšathra- "realm, province" (related to xšayathiya "king," cognate with Sanskrit kshatra; cf. shah) + pavan- "guardian," from PIE *pa- "to protect, feed" (see food). Related: Satrapy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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