Definition of satrap in US English:



  • 1A provincial governor in the ancient Persian empire.

    • ‘From the outset he regarded Asia Minor as liberated territory only in so far as he displaced the Persians, and he announced the fact of possession by imposing his own satraps upon the erstwhile Persian provinces.’
    • ‘The Persian satrap was unable to stop him at the first major battle at the Granicus River.’
    • ‘The grand columned audience hall is the archetypal feature of Achemenid architecture, and was intended to overwhelm visiting satraps and clients.’
    • ‘From the end of the 370s Persia also faced a series of satrap revolts; these revolts particularly involved the western provinces of the empire, and rebel satraps made various overtures to Greek cities.’
    • ‘They wrote out all Mordecai's orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.’
    1. 1.1 Any subordinate or local ruler.
      • ‘The women delegates were the first to snap out of the euphoria, when they realised their fate would depend on the whims of the same corrupt and brutal satraps they had long resisted.’
      • ‘In fact provincial satraps already have a big say even in government formations at the Centre.’
      • ‘Outside the bounds of obedience are the orders or policies established by dictators and despotic satraps.’
      • ‘The polls will decide the fate of some of these regional satraps.’
      • ‘The break up of the Vijayanagara empire had resulted in the satraps setting up their own separate kingdoms and the Brahmins were sought to legitimatise their rebel rule.’
      • ‘The ball has been thrown into the court of the central government of India by a wily satrap from a rival camp.’
      • ‘The principal adversary and all but a few of its satraps gave up the conflict.’
      • ‘A look at the seat-sharing arrangements they have made in various states suggests how easily they have been bullied into accepting the crumbs thrown at them by the regional satraps.’
      • ‘He also built up a chain of regional satraps, in Mabar, Bengal, Warangal, Vijayanagar, who unfortunately rebelled against his rule.’
      • ‘Feeling unequal to the challenge, many officials tacitly acknowledged the power of these de facto satraps.’
      • ‘As one moves away from the main power centre, the regional Islamic satraps - whether governors of the Delhi Sultanate or newly-independent Sultan - patronized an architecture which slowly began to assume a very different identity.’
      • ‘So when no one turned up for his meeting, the local satrap reacted in the only way he knew how.’


Late Middle English: from Old French satrape or Latin satrapa, based on Old Persian kšathra-pāvan ‘country-protector’.