chiefly Scotland
: a landed proprietor
lairdly adjective

Examples of laird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shakespeare reveals his villain-protagonist’s foil late in the plot: Macduff only stands out from a miscellaneous herd of Scottish lairds once Macbeth sends assassins after his family. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2024 Who is a witch and who is a laird in any single moment seems fluid — appropriately for a cast hamstrung repeatedly by COVID setbacks, anyone might play anyone. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 29 Apr. 2022 The term green laird is used to express concern about the concentration of ownership and power, says Hamish Trench, the chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission, the public body created by the Scottish government to advise on land policy. Cathleen O'Grady, The Atlantic, 20 May 2022 A few thousand sheep could generate more revenue for a laird than a few hundred farmer-tenants. New York Times, 5 May 2022 This romance is about a grumpy Scottish laird falling for a feisty English lady, and trust me, this man knows how to pleasure his woman. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 14 Feb. 2022 Most practical measures to weed out witches were taken by the local leaders of Scottish society, the lairds (local aristocrats) and ministers. National Geographic, 16 Oct. 2019 And after years of neglect by the previous laird, or estate owner, the people gained ownership themselves in 1997. Danielle Bernabe, National Geographic, 26 Apr. 2019 The wife of a laird used to be called Lady up until the 18th century, but the practice has disappeared and now spouses take on their husband's full names, Koenig previously told The Duchess Diary in 2016. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'laird.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English (northern dialect) lord, lard lord

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of laird was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near laird

Cite this Entry

“Laird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


ˈla(ə)rd How to pronounce laird (audio)
chiefly Scottish

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