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I'm a historian, so this isn't my speciality. I'm looking into the etymology of "to lead" and related verbs. Since there are numerous verbs with some similarity but vastly different etymology (such as lead from Old German, conduct from Latin, guide from French), I wonder if any verbs derive from Old Greek ἄρχω (árkhō), especially considering the use of the suffix -archy as in monarchy.

Edit: To clarify my question: Are there any English verbs that derive from Old Greek ἄρχω (árkhō)? In a way I'm looking for a reverse etymology. I know the potential root word, but not any derived ones. A made up example of what such a verb could look like: "The king monarched his kingdom for thirty years."

If that question can't be answered, I guess my question would be how to go about finding words derived from specific root words.

I hope this edit cleared up the question.

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  • Welcome! Just to clarify, are you looking for the etymology of "to lead" in English or a list from the archived Greek?
    – livresque
    Feb 4 at 1:13
  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Feb 4 at 1:13
  • I've tried to clarify the question; hope it's clearer now what I'm looking for.
    – John
    Feb 4 at 1:26
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    FWIW, a search at Onelook.com for "arch", , preceded and followed by asterisks meaning "any number of letters", and limited to verbs, gives 17 words, of which only archive and archaize seem like candidates. Archive is a verbed noun, of course. Feb 4 at 2:17
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    You should be able to search for pages that link to the Greek root ἀρχός on Wiktionary (with a bit of filtering needed) but I can't get it to work (on my phone at least). You can download the whole of Wiktionary but that might be challenging. Look at the etymology on Wiktionary.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 4 at 8:52

4 Answers 4

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There is the verb hierarchize and following the model of the rarer monarchize: anarchize and oligarchize.

Also demonarchize, depatriarchize.

Archaicize/Archaize Thanks @TinfoilHat

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One verb is to archive. But there is a way of focusing your search which might lead you to what you're seeking.

Google lets you specify sites to search. You can look for entries on Wiktionary which include ἄρχω:

"ἄρχω" "site:https://en.wiktionary.org"

Is shows a list of results including archi-. This entry has a list of English words with this prefix and the synonym arch- (which has another list).

Further searches show archon which you can search for on Etymonline. This will show nearby words on the right and also a list of related words.

Specifying a site in Google and using Etymonline could lead to some results.

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The verb archive is not longer that related to the meaning of leading, so I am not sure how much it will help you.

The prefix arch- (or archi-) seems to be used in English mainly with nouns, and sometimes with adjectives (with a different meaning). M-W explains:

As a prefix, arch- appears in a number of titles referring to positions of superiority, such as archduke and archbishop; it can also mean "chief" (as in archnemesis) or "extreme" (archconservative - here it is used with an adjective). It comes from the Greek verb archein, meaning "to begin or to rule."

In a way, you can look at this prefix as already having the meaning "leading, which leads", so it would not be easy to stick it to another verb.

Collins describes arch- as a combining form and says

COMBINING FORM
Arch- combines with nouns referring to people to form new nouns that refer to people who are extreme examples of something. For example, your arch-rival is the rival you most want to beat.

As, you can see, no mention of a verb. If you look at this definition of arch- (do read down to the bottom), you will find that indeed, it is used mainly with nouns and adjectives.

As for the reverse etymological search, if you know the English equivalent of the Greek root, in this case -arch-, you can do plenty of searches on Google, such as:

prefix arch- meaning
prefix arch- etymology
words with prefix arch- or words with affix arch

These searches offer abundant information, and once you find the word you need, you can search for its etymology as well.

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The verb "to archive" does have its roots in άρχω, άρχης, αρχος. The verb is from the noun:

OED

Etymology: < French archif, archive, < late Latin archīum, archīvum, < Greek ἀρχεῖον magisterial residence, public office, < ἀρχή government.

Hence a ruler/leader/premier...

Additional to "archive" is "to architect": again from the noun

Etymology: ? < French architecte or Italian architetto, < Latin architectus , < Greek ἀρχιτέκτων , < ἀρχι- (see archi- prefix) + τέκτων builder, craftsman. Several of the derivatives are formed as if on Latin tectus < tegĕre; e.g. architective, -tor, -ture.

Hence "leading builder/craftsman."

OED

architect, v.

To design (a building). Also transferred and figurative.

1818 J. Keats Let. July (1958) I. 350 This was architected thus By the great Oceanus. [But see architecture v.]

1890 Harper's Mag. Apr. 809/2 We would not give being the author of one of Mr. Aldrich's beautiful sonnets to be the author of many ‘Wyndham Towers’, however skilfully architected.

1913 W. Raleigh Some Authors (1923) 3 He has come out of the prison-house of theological system, nobly and grimly architected.

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