(redirected from pentarchical)


n. pl. pen·tar·chies
1. Government by five rulers.
2. A body of five joint rulers.
3. An association or federation of five governments, each ruled by a different leader.

[Greek pentarkhiā : penta-, penta- + -arkhiā, -archy.]

pen·tar′chi·cal (pĕn-tär′kĭ-kəl) adj.
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.


n, pl -chies
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) government by five rulers
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a ruling body of five
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a union or association of five kingdoms, provinces, etc, each under its own ruler
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a country ruled by a body of five
penˈtarchical adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɛn tɑr ki)

n., pl. -chies.
1. a government or governing body consisting of five persons.
2. a union of five states or kingdoms, each under its own ruler.
[1580–90; < Greek pentarchía. See pent-, -archy]
pen′tarch, n.
pen•tar′chi•cal, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 government by a group of five persons, 1587.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Wolf Gruner asks "Was There A Reformed Balance of Power System or Cooperative Great Power Hegemony?" and concludes that the system did indeed rest on a multipolar, or pentarchical, balance of power.