- a governor of a province under the ancient Persian monarchy.
- a subordinate ruler, often a despotic one.
c.1380, "governor of a province of ancient Persia," from L. satrapes, from Gk. satrapes, from O.Pers. kshathrapavan-, lit. "guardian of the realm," from kshathra- "realm, province" (related to kshayathiya- "king," cognate with Skt. kshatra; cf. shah) + pavan- "guardian," from pa- "to protect."
"Overcome by enthusiasm, one Sunni militia had plundered Xinghua for days; the other had occupied Fuzhou, turning it into a private satrapy."
- Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created