- the governor of a province in ancient Persia
- a ruler of a dependency, esp. a despotic, subordinate official; petty tyrant
Origin of satrapMiddle English from Classical Latin satrapes from Classical Greek satrap?s from Old Persian xšathrap?van, literally , protector of the land from xšathra, dominion ( from Indo-European base an unverified form kth?i-, to gain dominion from source Classical Greek kt?ma, possession) + an unverified form p?(y)-, to protect from Indo-European base an unverified form p?(i)-, to herd sheep, protect, cover from source Old English fothor, sheath
- A governor of a province in ancient Persia.
- A ruler.
- A subordinate bureaucrat or official: “The satraps of Capitol Hill will not sit idly by” ( David Nyhan )
- Usage Problem A satrapy.
Origin of satrapMiddle 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.
Usage Note: In its primary and figurative senses, satrap refers to a person. Sometimes the word is used to refer to the geographical location or organization under the control of a satrap, as in this quotation from a 2014 editorial in Forbes magazine: “Plunging oil prices are hammering Moscow far more than are the tepid, half-hearted sanctions imposed by the West after Putin's … machinations to effectively make Ukraine a Russian satrap.” The correct term for this sense, however, is satrapy, and most writers maintain this distinction.