-archy Also -arch.
Government; rule of a particular type; a chief or ruler.
[Greek arkhēs, ruler; arkhein, to rule.]
Words in -archy are abstract nouns for types of government, leadership, or social influence or organization. They correspond to nouns in -arch for a person or people who rule or command in that way. For example, a monarch (Greek monos, alone or single) is a sovereign head of state, in a type of government called monarchy.
The ending is somewhat active, with terms being created for occasional use or wordplay, such as cupidarchy, a state built on cupidity, or ergonarchy (Greek ergon, work), one ruled by the work ethic.
For more examples, See also -cracy.
Examples of words in -archy
All word sources are Greek unless otherwise stated.
|anarchy||a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority, or absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal||an-, without|
|autarchy||a system of government by one person with absolute power||autos, self|
|eparchy||a province of the Orthodox Church||epi, above, so ‘rule from above’|
|hierarchy||a system of authority in which members are ranked according to status||from hieros, sacred, since the earliest sense was that of a system of orders of angels and heavenly beings|
|matriarchy||a system of society or government ruled by a woman or women||Latin mater, mother, on a mistaken analogy with patriarchy|
|monarchy||a state with a sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor||monos, alone or single|
|oligarchy||a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution; a place or body so ruled||oligoi, few|
|patriarchy||government by the father or eldest male||patria, family|
|squirearchy||landowners collectively, especially when considered as a class having political or social influence||English squire|
|synarchy||joint rule or government by two or more individuals or parties||sun-, together|