\ 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

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 No, the guy who has cornered the market on exquisite misery is Jaques, the aggressively melancholy nobleman who lords over his own private Kingdom of Emo. James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘As You Like It’ zips along with elegance and wit in Old Globe’s Shakespeare Festival opener," 23 June 2019 The Stanley Cup banner will already be hanging from the Enterprise Center rafters, but this will be Blues fans’ first opportunity to lord it over the Hawks. Jimmy Greenfield, chicagotribune.com, "8 games worth circling on Blackhawks’ 2019-20 schedule, including Joel Quenneville’s return to Chicago," 25 June 2019 To us of the twenty-first century, there is a preposterousness about the manner in which a few tens of thousands of British soldiers and civilians lorded for three centuries over an ever-expanding mass of the subcontinent and its inhabitants. Max Hastings, The New York Review of Books, "Staying On," 4 Apr. 2019 The future will resemble a high-tech Downton Abbey, with the skilled elite lording it over the rest. The Economist, "For the future, look to the past," 13 June 2019 In the case of South Africa’s rich agriculturalists, a tiny minority lorded over huge farms maintained on a plantationlike system with cheap, disposable labor always at hand. James Pogue, Harper's magazine, "The Myth of White Genocide," 10 June 2019 In the book, Seierstad introduced Rais as a tyrant lording over his sullen brood. Christopher De Bellaigue, The New York Review of Books, "The Seduction of Jihad," 4 Apr. 2019 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

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).


to spread over or through

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