“Archimandrite” (from Greek roots meaning “head of a sheepfold [mandra]”) refers to a dignitary ranking below a bishop. It was used from the 4th century for certain heads of monasteries (Orthodox or united with Rome). After the 6th century it was reserved for leaders of groups of monasteries and at first restricted to certain abbots. Since the 18th century the title has been conferred on other monks or unmarried priests only loosely connected to the monastic state (as a rhasophore, or novice), either in an honorary way or as a promotion on the way to the episcopal office.
See Orthodox Church