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 (sā′trăp′, săt′răp′)
1. A governor of a province in ancient Persia.
2. A ruler.
3. A subordinate bureaucrat or official: "The satraps of Capitol Hill will not sit idly by" (David Nyhan).
4. Usage Problem A satrapy.

[Middle English satrape, from Old French, from Latin satrapēs, from Greek, from Old Persian khshathrapāvā, protector of the province : khshathra-, realm, province + pāvā, protector; see pā- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: In its primary and figurative senses, satrap refers to a person. Sometimes the word is used to refer to the geographical location or organization under the control of a satrap, as in this quotation from a 2014 editorial in Forbes magazine:"Plunging oil prices are hammering Moscow far more than are the tepid, half-hearted sanctions imposed by the West after Putin's ... machinations to effectively make Ukraine a Russian satrap." The correct term for this sense, however, is satrapy, and most writers maintain this distinction.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Historical Terms) (in ancient Persia) a provincial governor
2. (Historical Terms) a subordinate ruler, esp a despotic one
[C14: from Latin satrapa, from Greek satrapēs, from Old Persian khshathrapāvan, literally: protector of the land]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈseɪ træp, ˈsæ-)

1. a governor of a province in ancient Persia.
2. a subordinate ruler, often a despot.
[1350–1400; < Latin satrapa < Greek satrápēs < Old Persian khshathra-pāvan- country-protector]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.satrap - a governor of a province in ancient Persia
governor - the head of a state government
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
It is the chief mate, the only figure of the ship's afterguard, who comes bustling forward at the cry of "All hands on deck!" He is the satrap of that province in the autocratic realm of the ship, and more personally responsible for anything that may happen there.
Harley, in turn, addressed him as: Man-Dog, Incorruptible One, Brass Tacks, Then Some, Sin of Gold, South Sea Satrap, Nimrod, Young Nick, and Lion-Slayer.
In person, Clement des Lupeaulx had the remains of a handsome man; five feet six inches tall, tolerably stout, complexion flushed with good living, powdered head, delicate spectacles, and a worn-out air; the natural skin blond, as shown by the hand, puffy like that of an old woman, rather too square, and with short nails--the hand of a satrap. His foot was elegant.
Mausolos was a chieftain who, as a satrap, governed Caria in south-west Turkey which was then part of the Persian empire.
In his translations in the main text Holmes aims for a modern, colloquial idiom (e.g., "authoritarian" rather than "satrap," p.
This is another honorary decree recognising the services of a benefactor of Athens (probably from Cyzicus), who had assisted the city while he was in the service of a satrap. The satrap had been 'appointed by the king, Antipater and the other Macedonians'.(9) Since Wilhelm's initial publication of the stone the wording has been related to the conference at Triparadeisus.(10) If so, it is certainly vague and inaccurate, mentioning a single king and implying that the Macedonians at large had a role in appointing the satraps.
The result is that invitations to social doings of any charm or usefulness are directed almost exclusively to the satrap, who seldom delegates acceptances.
Its subsidiaries include the Chavit Tree Project, Satrap Power Corporation, Platinum Skies, Go Sport, Satrap Mining, travel documentary series Happy Life, Casha and the official host committee of the 65th Miss Universe.
Conversely India definitely does not need a man, a regional satrap for that matter, so conceited and full of himself that he cannot see anyone better than himself even in his own party though there is no dearth of better deserving ones than himself there; a man who thinks it a weakness to admit mistakes and worse still to apologize for past blunders (to err and correct oneself is human for ordinary mortals); a man who wants his diktats to be last word on all matters regarding development of a nation with such diversity from region to region.
I expected the former to take from the needy to give to the greedy, but for the latter to continue this policy and also make us a satrap of America thus making us a target for terrorists and involving us in endless wars, was a real betrayal of trust - and I state this as a former Labour Party member.
But then again, the satrap of claptrap gets more spin out of an article than Shane Warne on the wicket at Lords!