\ ˈlȯrd How to pronounce lord (audio) \

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

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
(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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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

King County has only one active landfill, where the rubbish produced by more than 1.4 million people is hauled, dumped, compacted and layered into a modest trash mountain lorded over by a fleet of semi-trucks, bulldozers and bald eagles. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "King County’s landfill has been almost full for two decades. What happens next?," 26 Mar. 2019 The natural impulse is to dismiss the absurd notion that James, with his unmatched combination of physical gifts and innate basketball intelligence, could be doing anything other than lording over the NBA. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "What If LeBron Hadn't Made It? Imagining the NBA Without King James," 10 May 2018 Out of context, the clip sounds like an influencer lording his status over his audience. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The backlash to streamer with a ‘god complex’ reveals a big Twitch taboo," 31 Oct. 2018 All sorts of things, but in a sense, lording over it, physically and metaphorically, were the super rich, the billionaire class. Recode Staff, Recode, "How India fits into the global economy: It may not be China, but at least it isn’t Russia," 4 Aug. 2018 There are dozens of historical examples of men lording it over women by cracking down on beauty treatments, starting with the Spartans, who banned women’s use of all cosmetics. Joan Kron, Town & Country, "The President's Facelift Tweet Wasn't Just Nasty—It Was Also Factually Inaccurate," 30 June 2017 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

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

Noun and Verb

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

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More Definitions for lord



English Language Learners Definition of lord

: a man who ruled over a large area of land in the Middle Ages
: a very powerful criminal
used as a name for God or Jesus Christ


\ ˈlȯrd How to pronounce lord (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on lord

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lord

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lord

Spanish Central: Translation of lord

Nglish: Translation of lord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lord for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lord

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 sum of money that is sent as a payment

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