Etymology
Advertisement
ruler (n.)

late 14c., "one who rules or governs," especially in reference to superior or sovereign authority, agent noun from rule (v.). The meaning "instrument used for guiding a pen, etc. in making straight lines" is by c. 1400 (compare rule (n.), the older word for this).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
dynast (n.)

"hereditary ruler," 1630s, from Late Latin dynastes, from Greek dynastes "ruler, chief, lord, master" (see dynasty).

Related entries & more 
governor (n.)

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.

Related entries & more 
Negus 

title of the ruler of Abyssinia, 1590s, from Amharic (Semitic) negush "king," from stem of nagasha "he forced, ruled."

Related entries & more 
exarch (n.)

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.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
governess (n.)

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).

Related entries & more 
palatinate (n.)

"the office or province of a palatine ruler," 1650s, from palatine + -ate (1). In England and Ireland, a county palatine; also used of certain American colonies (Carolina, Maryland, Maine).

Related entries & more 
sultan (n.)

1550s, from French sultan "ruler of Turkey" (16c.), ultimately from Arabic (Semitic) sultan "ruler, prince, monarch, king, queen," originally "power, dominion." According to Klein's sources, this is from Aramaic shultana "power," from shelet "have power." Earlier English word was soldan, soudan (c. 1300), used indiscriminately of Muslim rulers and sovereigns, from Old French souldan, soudan, from Medieval Latin sultanus. Related: Sultanic.

Related entries & more 
autarchy (n.)

1660s, "absolute sovereignty," from Latinized form of Greek autarkhia, from autarkhein "to be an absolute ruler," from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon).

Related entries & more 
potentate (n.)

c. 1400, potentat, "a ruler, lord, prince, monarch; person who possesses independent power or sway," from Old French potentat and directly from Late Latin potentatus "a ruler," also "political power," from Latin potentatus "might, power, rule, dominion," from potentem (nominative potens) "powerful," from potis "powerful, able, capable; possible;" of persons, "better, preferable; chief, principal; strongest, foremost," from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord." 

Related entries & more