One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chief; principal.‘archbishop’‘archdiocese’chief, principal, foremost, leading, main, pre-eminent, cardinal, major, prime, premier, elite, star, outstanding, ultra-, super-View synonyms
- 1.1 (in an unfavourable sense) pre-eminent of its kind; out-and-out.‘arch-enemy’greatest, leading, foremost, best, finest, chief, outstanding, excellent, distinguished, prominent, eminent, important, major, star, top, top-tier, topmost, famous, renowned, celebrated, illustrious, towering, supreme, superior, exceptional, unrivalled, unsurpassed, unequalled, inimitable, incomparable, matchless, peerless, unmatched, transcendentView synonyms
- 1.1 (in an unfavourable sense) pre-eminent of its kind; out-and-out.
Via Latin from Greek arkhi-, from arkhos ‘chief’.
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