"hereditary ruler," 1630s, from Late Latin dynastes, from Greek dynastes "ruler, chief, lord, master" (see dynasty).
c. 1300, gouernour, "personal keeper, protector, guide;" late 14c., "one who governs, a ruler," from Old French governeor "prince, ruler, administrator; helmsman" (11c., Modern French gouverneur) and directly from Latin gubernatorem (nominative gubernator) "director, ruler, governor," originally "steersman, pilot" (see govern). Meaning "subordinate ruler; head of a province, etc." is from late 14c. Meaning "one charged with direction or control of an institution, etc." is from late 14c. Mechanical sense of "self-acting regulator" is from 1819. The adjective gubernatorial remembers the Latin form. There is a record of English governator from 1520s.
word-forming element meaning "a ruler," from Greek arkhos "leader, chief, ruler," from arkhē "beginning, origin, first place," verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first," hence "to begin" and "to rule" (see archon).
masc. proper name, from Old Norse Eirikr, literally "honored ruler," from Proto-Germanic *aiza- "honor" + *rik- "ruler" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). The German form is Erich.
title of the ruler of Abyssinia, 1590s, from Amharic (Semitic) negush "king," from stem of nagasha "he forced, ruled."
historically, "a ruler of a province in the Byzantine Empire;" in the early Church, "a prelate presiding over a diocese;" in the Greek Church, a legate of a patriarch; from Late Latin exarchus, from Greek exarkhos "a leader," from ex (see ex-) + arkhos "leader, chief, ruler" (see archon). Related: Exarchate.
mid-15c., "female ruler," shortening of governouresse "a woman who rules" (late 14c.), from Old French governeresse "female ruler or administrator" (see governor + -ess). The Latin fem, form was gubernatrix. In the sense of "a female teacher in a private home" governess it is attested from 1712, probably as a fem. of governor in the now-obsolete sense "one who has charge of a young man's education and activities, a tutor" (1570s).