"great hunter," 1712, a reference to the biblical son of Cush, referred to (Genesis x.8-9) as "a mighty hunter before the Lord." In Middle English he was Nembrot (mid-13c.), founder of cities and builder of the tower of Babel (though Genesis does not name him as such). In 16c.-17c. his name was synonymous with "a tyrant." The word came to mean "geek, klutz" by 1983 in teenager slang, for unknown reasons. (Amateur theories include its occasional use in "Bugs Bunny" cartoon episodes featuring rabbit-hunting Elmer Fudd as a foil; its alleged ironic use, among hunters, for a clumsy member of their fraternity; or a stereotype of deer hunters by the non-hunting population in the U.S.)
late 13c., "honor, respect, deference (shown to someone), esteem heightened by awe," also of places or holy objects, from Old French reverence "respect, awe" and directly from Latin reverentia "awe, respect," from revereri "to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + vereri "stand in awe of, fear, respect" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for").
Reverence is nearly equivalent to veneration, but expresses something less of the same emotion. It differs from awe in that it is not akin to the feeling of fear, dread, or terror, while also implying a certain amount of love or affection. We feel reverence for a parent and for an upright magistrate, but we stand in awe of a tyrant. [Century Dictionary]
From late 14c. as "state of being revered or venerated." As a respectful form of address, with possessive pronoun, to a clergyman or ecclesiastic, late 14c. (Gower), "latterly only used by the lower classes, esp. in Ireland" [OED].
"absolute ruler," 1560s, in Italian form dispotto (1580s as despot); from Medieval Latin despota, from Greek despotēs "master of a household, lord, absolute ruler," from PIE *dems-pota- "house-master," from the genitive of the root *dem- "house, household" + second element from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord." The compound might be prehistoric; compare Sanskrit dampati- "lord."
Originally in English in reference to Byzantine rulers or Christian rulers in Ottoman provinces and often neutral. But it had been faintly pejorative in Greek (ruler of an un-free people), and it was used in various languages for Roman emperors. It became fully negative with the French Revolution, where it was applied to Louis XVI. In English the sense of "one who governs according to his own will, under a recognized right but uncontrolled by constitutional restrictions or the wishes of his subjects" is by 1610s; by c. 1800 it was used generally for "a tyrant, an oppressor."
The Greek female equivalent was despoina "lady, queen, mistress," source of the fem. proper name Despina.
1530s, "absence of government," from French anarchie or directly from Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhia "lack of a leader, the state of people without a government" (in Athens, used of the Year of Thirty Tyrants, 404 B.C., when there was no archon), abstract noun from anarkhos "rulerless," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + arkhos "leader" (see archon).
From 1660s as "confusion or absence of authority in general;" by 1849 in reference to the social theory advocating "order without power," with associations and co-operatives taking the place of direct government, as formulated in the 1830s by French political philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865).
Either the State for ever, crushing individual and local life, taking over in all fields of human activity, bringing with it its wars and its domestic struggles for power, its palace revolutions which only replace one tyrant by another, and inevitably at the end of this development there is ... death! Or the destruction of States, and new life starting again in thousands of centers on the principle of the lively initiative of the individual and groups and that of free agreement. The choice lies with you! [Prince Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), "The State: Its Historic Role," 1896]