Proto-Indo-European root meaning "be master of, possess."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit ise, iste "he owns, rules," isvara- "owner, lord, ruler;" Avestan ise, is "ruler over," isti- "property, power;" Old English agan "to have, own."
late 14c., "woman of royal or noble birth; daughter or wife of a ruler or prince; female ruler," a native formation; in some later instances from Old French princesse, fem. of prince (see prince). Compare Medieval Latin principissa, Italian principessa.
As a colloquial form of address to a woman or girl, it is recorded by 1924 (as a term of address to a lover, early 15c.). Princesse lointaine "ideal but unattainable woman" (literally "distant princess") is from the play by Rostand (1895) based on troubadour themes.
c. 1600, 15th dynasty of Egyptian kings (1650-1558 B.C.E.), called "Shepherd Kings," from Greek Hyksos, from Egyptian, explained variously as hiq shasu "ruler of nomads," or heqa khoswe "chief of foreign lands."
also marquess, c. 1300, marchis, title of nobility, from Old French marchis, marcheis, marquis, etymologically "a prefect of the marches, ruler of a border area," from Old French marche "frontier," from Medieval Latin marca "frontier, frontier territory" (see march (n.1)). Originally the ruler of border territories in various European regions (compare Italian marchese, Spanish marqués, and see margrave); later a mere title of rank, below duke and above earl or count. Related: Marquisate.
"king or chief among some Native American tribes," 1610s, sagamo, from Abenaki (Algonquian) zogemo "chief, ruler," which is distantly related to the source of sachem.
masc. proper name, from Old English Osweald "god-power, god-ruler," from Old English os "god" (only in personal names), from PIE *ansu- "spirit" (see Oscar) + Old English (ge)weald "power."
c. 1300, "absolute ruler," especially one without legal right; "cruel, oppressive ruler," from Old French tiran, tyrant (12c.), from Latin tyrannus "lord, master, monarch, despot," especially "arbitrary ruler, cruel governor, autocrat" (source also of Spanish tirano, Italian tiranno), from Greek tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler unlimited by law or constitution," a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor (probably Lydian); Klein compares Etruscan Turan "mistress, lady" (surname of Venus).
In the exact sense, a tyrant is an individual who arrogates to himself the royal authority without having a right to it. This is how the Greeks understood the word 'tyrant': they applied it indifferently to good and bad princes whose authority was not legitimate. [Rousseau, "The Social Contract"]
Originally in Greek the word was not applied to old hereditary sovereignties (basileiai) and despotic kings, but it was used of usurpers, even when popular, moderate, and just (such as Cypselus of Corinth), however it soon became a word of reproach in the usual modern sense. The unetymological spelling with -t arose in Old French by analogy with present-participle endings in -ant. Fem. form tyranness is recorded from 1590 (Spenser); Medieval Latin had tyrannissa (late 14c.).
surname, from 13c. Scottish Dofnald, Dufenald, probably from Gaelic Domhnall, Old Irish Domnall (pronounced "Dovnall"), from Proto-Celtic *Dubno-valos "world-mighty, ruler of the world," from *walos "ruler" (from PIE root *wal- "to be strong") + Old Irish domun "world," from PIE root *dheub- "deep, hollow," via sense development from "bottom" to "foundation" to "earth" to "world" (see deep (adj.)). A top 10 name for boys born in the U.S. between 1923 and 1943. Disney's Donald Duck cartoon character debuted in 1934.
c. 1500, dominatour, "ruler," from Old French dominateur (13c.) and directly from Latin dominator, agent noun from dominari "to rule, dominate, to govern," from dominus "lord, master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
c. 1400, "tenant, occupier," agent noun from hold (v.). Meaning "device for holding something" is attested from 1833. Similar formation in Old Frisian haldere, Dutch houder, German Halter. The Old English agent noun, healdend, meant "protector, guardian, ruler, king."