\ ˈlȯrd \

Definition of lord 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one having power and authority over others:

a : a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due

b : one of whom a fee or estate is held in feudal tenure

c : an owner of land or other real (see real entry 1 sense 2) property

d obsolete : the male head of a household

e : husband

f : one that has achieved mastery or that exercises leadership or great power in some area a drug lord

2 capitalized

a : god sense 1

b : jesus

3 : a man of rank or high position: such as

a : a feudal tenant whose right or title comes directly from the king

b : a British nobleman: such as

(1) : baron sense 2a

(2) : a hereditary peer of the rank of marquess, earl, or viscount

(3) : the son of a duke or a marquess or the eldest son of an earl

(4) : a bishop of the Church of England

c Lords plural : house of lords

4 used as a British title: such as

a used as part of an official title Lord AdvocateLord Mayor

b used informally in place of the full title for a marquess, earl, or viscount

c used for a baron

d used by courtesy before the name and surname of a younger son of a duke or a marquess

5 : a person chosen to preside over a festival


lorded; lording; lords

Definition of lord (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to act like a lord especially : to put on airs usually used with it lords it over his friends

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Synonyms for lord

Synonyms: Noun

gentleman, grandee, milord, nobleman, peer

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Examples of lord in a Sentence


He became a lord upon the death of his father. as lords of the local real estate scene, they own nearly all of the city's prime pieces of property

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The duo that lorded over the sport as goal-scoring wonders went out without a goal in what could be their final performances for their country in the World Cup. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "For Portugal, It’s All About Ronaldo in Loss to Uruguay in the World Cup," 30 June 2018 There’s also a bird that struts around, lording it over the place like a, well, peacock. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "The Houston Arboretum’s newest resident: An exotic peacock," 15 June 2018 James has lorded over the East for the equivalent of two presidential terms. Lee Jenkins, SI.com, "Back Where He Belongs: LeBron James Finds Sense of Normalcy in NBA Finals Trip," 30 May 2018 The celebration of Cameroon’s national day on May 20th was lorded over by President Paul Biya, who at 85 is Africa’s oldest head of state. The Economist, "Repression is worsening in Cameroon amid an uprising over language," 31 May 2018 Lima’s cathedral, with its pair of neo-Classical spires framing an epic door, appears here blown up to mural size; a smaller photo captures Mexico City’s more Baroque cathedral, lording over the massive Zócalo. Jason Farago, New York Times, "How Latin America Was Built, Before Modernism Came Along," 18 Apr. 2018 Large Position Auto Bottom Top Sample Caption Text 0:00 0:00 0:00 Back at the turn of the century, NBC still lorded over primetime with their Thursday night comedy block of Must See TV. Drew Magary, GQ, "TV Shows Are Too Long Now," 4 May 2018 Of course, the females are attracted to food, too, so lording over a good spot helps the males fill their bellies and find mates. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Watch a Sausage-Size Insect Transform From Larva to Beetle," 11 May 2018 In the meantime, white evangelicals need to get a more realistic sense of their own trajectory, and stop lording it over other people of faith who share their less-than-robust membership trends. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Americans With No Religion Greatly Outnumber White Evangelicals," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lord.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lord


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lord


Middle English loverd, lord, from Old English hlāford, from hlāf loaf + weard keeper — more at loaf, ward


see lord entry 1

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Time Traveler for lord

The first known use of lord was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for lord


\ ˈlȯrd \

Kids Definition of lord

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person having power and authority over others

2 capitalized : god sense 1

3 capitalized : jesus christ

4 : a British nobleman or bishop used as a title Lord Cornwallis


lorded; lording

Kids Definition of lord (Entry 2 of 2)

: to act in a proud or bossy way toward others He's older, and always lords it over us.

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Comments on lord

What made you want to look up lord? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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