\ 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
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 titleLord 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

Noun 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 novel is the story of a great inversion, one in which the ruled replace their rulers but end up lording it over each other in just the same way as the old regime. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "For Liberal Elites at Davos, Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others," 24 Jan. 2020 Yet right here, politicians act as if a health crisis gives them license to lord over the most private activities of America people in ways that are wholly inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Constitution. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Coronavirus Authoritarianism Is Getting Out of Hand," 13 Apr. 2020 Good ideas put forward by the original gang of six members are dismissed as Euro-aristocrats lording it over newer arrivals. The Economist, "Charlemagne Why stereotypes rule in Brussels," 11 Jan. 2020 The primary setting is a classroom in London, at Crunchem Hall Primary School, which is lorded over by an evil headmistress, Miss Agatha Trunchbull. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood High thespians to aim high with ‘Matilda’," 2 Dec. 2019 Try not to lord it over your family and friends too much. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How well do you know the Milwaukee suburbs? Test your knowledge with these 31 questions.," 14 Oct. 2019 Commenters went berserk for and against my recipe, with many lording the reverse sear as the preferred method over my apparent sheer lunacy. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Don’t want to mess up that big piece of meat you just bought? Enter the reverse sear.," 9 Sep. 2019 Research is like buying ingredients, how the recipe comes together is up to lord Shiva. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Amish Tripathi wants to write a hundred books, one cream biscuit at a time," 26 Aug. 2019 By forcing his way out of Houston and into Seattle, Jadeveon Clowney became the latest high-profile player to flex his muscle in a league whose teams have traditionally lorded control over even its brightest stars. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: NFL now entering the player empowerment era," 30 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for lord

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lord

Cite this Entry

“Lord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lord. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for lord


How to pronounce lord (audio)

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 titleLord 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lord

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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