"absolute ruler," 1580s, from Latin imperator "commander-in-chief, leader, master," agent noun from stem of imperare "to command" (see imperative (adj.)). In the Roman republic, a holder of military command during active service, also a title bestowed on victorious generals; in the Roman Empire, the emperor as commander-in-chief of the armies. Related: Imperatorial.
title of sovereign princes in Tatar counties, c. 1400, from Turkic, literally "lord, prince," contraction of khaqan "ruler, sovereign." The word has been known in the languages of Europe since 13c.; compare Medieval Latin chanis, Medieval Greek kanes, Old French chan, Russian khanu. In time it degenerated and became a title of respect. The female form is khanum (1824), from Turkish khanim.
late 12c., patriarke, "one of the Old Testament fathers," progenitors of the Israelites, from Old French patriarche (11c.) and directly from Late Latin patriarcha (Tertullian), from Greek patriarkhēs "chief or head of a family," from patria "family, clan," from pater "father" (see father (n.)) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon). Also used as an honorific title of certain bishops of the highest rank in the early Church, notably those of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome. The meaning "the father and ruler of a family" is by 1817.
title of the king of Persia, 1560s, shaw, from Persian shah "a king, the ruler of a land," shortened from Old Persian xšayathiya "king," from Indo-Iranian *ksayati "he has power over, rules" from PIE *tke- "to gain control of, gain power over" (source also of Sanskrit ksatram "dominion;" Greek krasthai "to acquire, get," kektesthai "to possess"). His wife is a shahbanu (from banu "lady"); his son is a shahzadah (from zadah "son").
c. 1300, seignour, "a ruler, king," also a respectful term of address to a person of rank, from Old French seignior, signieur (11c., Anglo-French seinur, Modern French seigneur), from Latin seniorem (nominative senior) "older" (from PIE root *sen- "old"). From late 12c. as a surname. As a general title for a Frenchman it dates from 1580s and probably is a re-introduction. Related: Seigniorial; seignioral.
"the prostate gland," 1640s, from French prostate, from Medieval Latin prostata "the prostate," from Greek prostatēs (adēn) "prostate (gland)," from prostatēs "leader, ruler, guardian; one standing in front," from proistanai "set before," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + histanai "cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." So called from its position at the base of the bladder and immediately in front of its mouth. Related: Prostatic.
"sovereign, ruler, feudal lord or baron," 1807, suzereign, from French suzerain (14c., Old French suserain), noun use of an adjective meaning "sovereign but not supreme," from the adverb sus "up, above," on analogy of soverain (see sovereign (adj.)). Old French sus is from Vulgar Latin *susum, from Latin sursum "upward, above," a contraction of subversum, from subvertere "turn upside down, overturn, overthrow" (see subvert). The fem. form is suzeraine.
early 14c., cheftayne "ruler, chief, head" of something, from Anglo-French chiefteyn, Old French chevetain "captain, chief, leader," from Late Latin capitaneus "commander," from Latin capitis, genitive of caput "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head"). Now mostly poetic or archaic; in "Rob Roy" (1818) a Highland chieftain was the head of a branch of a clan, a chief was the head of the whole name. Related: Chieftainship; chieftaincy.
1610s, "Croatian military chief," a title given to those who governed and guarded the southern marches of Hungary, later to the Austrian-appointed governors of Croatia and Slovenia, from Serbo-Croatian ban "lord, master, ruler," from Persian ban "prince, lord, chief, governor," which is cognate with Sanskrit pati "guards, protects." Hence banat "district governed by a ban," with Latinate suffix -atus. The Persian word is said to have gotten into Slavic via the Avars.
name borne by two rulers of Tenochtitlan in ancient Mesoamerica, from Spanish Moctezuma, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) Moteuczoma, said to mean "he who frowns like a lord" or "he who is angry in a noble manner." Montezuma's revenge, "severe intestinal infection" sometimes suffered by non-natives in Mexico, is by 1962, in reference to Montezuma II (1466-1520), Aztec ruler at the time of the Spanish arrival and conquest of Mexico.