late Old English tetrarche "ruler of one of four divisions of a kingdom or province," from Late Latin tetrarcha, from tetrarches, from Greek tetrarkhes "leader of four companies, ruler of four provinces," from tetra- "four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four") + arkhein "to rule" (see archon). Applied generally to subordinate rulers in the Roman Empire, especially in Syria. Related: Tetrarchy.
early 13c., regne, "kingdom, state governed by a monarch," senses now obsolete, from Old French reigne "kingdom, land, country" (Modern French règne), from Latin regnum "kingship, dominion, rule, realm," which is related to regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").
From late 14c. as "sovereignty, royal authority, dominion." Hence, generally, "power, influence, or sway like that of a king" (by 1725). The meaning "period of time during which a monarch occupies a throne," used for dating, is recorded from mid-14c.
region and former kingdom (overthrown 744 by Charlemagne) in northern Italy; see Lombard. Lombardy poplar for the tall, columnar or spire-shaped variety, originally from Italy but planted in North American colonies as an ornamental tree, is attested from 1766.
Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the Midlands, Latinized from Old English Mierce "men of the Marches," from mearc (see march (n.2)). Related: Mercian. Mercian law (Medieval Latin Lex Merciorum, Middle English Mercene laue, mid-12c.) was the law code of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia (perhaps codified by Offa, but it survives only in fragments quoted in later English laws). Eight shires in the old Mercia still were governed under it in Middle English times, and the laws of William the Conqueror and Henry I set different penalties for breaches of the peace between the Mercian law, the Dane law, and the West Saxon law. Through some whim or error, Geoffrey of Monmouth and other later Middle English writers invented a British queen, Marcia, and attributed the laws to her.
"utopian," 1896, from Ruritania, name of an imaginary kingdom in "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1894) by Anthony Hope (1863-1933), who coined it from Latin rus (genitive ruris) "country" (see rural) + Latinate ending -itania (as in Lusitania, Mauritania). Ruritania as a recognizable generic name for an imaginary country lasted into the 1970s.
1824, in reference to the northern branch of the Semitic language group, from Greek Aramaia, the biblical land of 'Aram, roughly corresponding to modern Syria. The place name probably is related to Hebrew and Aramaic rum "to be high," thus originally "highland." As a noun, "the Aramaic langue," from 1833; Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Assyrian empire, the official language of the Persian kingdom, and the daily language of the Jews at the time of Christ.
Old English Cantware-buruh "fortified town of the Kentish people," from Cant-ware "the people of Kent" (see Kent). The Roman name was Duroverno, from Romano-British *duro- "walled town."
Pope Gregory the Great intended to make London, as the largest southern Anglo-Saxon city, the metropolitan see of southern England, but Christianity got a foothold first in the minor kingdom of Kent, whose heathen ruler Ethelbert had married a Frankish Christian princess. London was in the Kingdom of Essex and out of reach of the missionaries at first. Therefore, in part perhaps to flatter Ethelbert, his capital was made the cathedral city. Related: Canterburian. The shrine of Thomas à Becket, murdered there 1170, was a favorite pilgrimage destination.
"a primary division of the plant or animal kingdom, a genetically related tribe or race of organisms," 1868, Modern Latin, coined by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832) from Greek phylon "race, stock," related to phylē "tribe, clan" (see phylo-). The immediate source of the English word probably is from German.
c. 1600, "Low Germany and the Netherlands," from the Latin name of the territory occupied by the Belgæ, a Celtic or Celto-Germanic tribe that in Roman times occupied the area below the mouth of the Rhine, including modern Belgium and much of northeastern France. Adopted 1830 as the name of a new nation formed from the southern part of the former United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
medieval Spanish county and later kingdom, from Vulgar Latin *castilla, from Latin castella, plural of castellum "castle, fort, citadel, stronghold" (see castle (n.)); so called in reference to the many fortified places there during the Moorish wars. The name in Spanish is said to date back to c.800. Related: Castilian. As a fine kind of soap, in English from 1610s.