One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Ancient History. A commander of ten thousand men.
2Asian History. Among the Mongols: a military commander of a large force (notionally, a division of 10,000 men). Also (especially in Tibet): the governor of an administrative district under Mongol rule.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Henry Cockeram (fl. 1623–1658), lexicographer. From ancient Greek μυριάρχης (Herodotus), μυρίαρχος commander of ten thousand men from μυρίοι ten thousand + -άρχης, -αρχος.
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