over·​lord | \ˈō-vər-ˌlȯrd \

Definition of overlord 

1 : a lord over other lords : a lord paramount

2a : an absolute or supreme ruler

b : one having great power or authority a corporate overlord

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from overlord

overlordship \ˈō-​vər-​ˌlȯrd-​ˌship, ˌō-​vər-​ˈlȯrd-​ \ noun

Examples of overlord in a Sentence

He is the overlord of the underground gambling industry.

Recent Examples on the Web

Eron looks like Ronan Farrow and acts like Mark Zuckerberg and, paired with Jared Leto’s character in Blade Runner 2049, reflects an anxious mistrust of the tech overlords currently engineering our lives, with or without our consent. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "Sci-fi thriller 'Upgrade': When your body has a mind of its own," 30 May 2018 To be sure, Tay and Zo are not our future robot overlords. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Unmasking A.I.'s Bias Problem," 25 June 2018 Because McLaren doesn't have a corporate overlord like VW evaluating decisions. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "McLaren Reveals Its Newest, Fastest Supercar," 7 Mar. 2017 But once Armie Hammer enters the picture as the overlord of the nefarious corporation behind the telemarketing outfit, the movie loses its way in a welter of surreality. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Sorry to Bother You' eventually loses its way in a welter of surreality," 5 July 2018 Moonves, 68, who had been friendly with Shari, 64, until suing NAI on May 14 to block the Viacom merger, has never been comfortable with her as overlord. Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter, "Behind Leslie Moonves' Crusade to Save CBS From Viacom," 23 May 2018 Barry’s skills at taking advantage of these traits allow him to befriend and negotiate with his new overlords, allowing him to survive and even thrive in this world. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "In The Robots of Gotham, AI has taken over the world — and become exactly like us," 7 July 2018 As if succumbing to a technological Stockholm syndrome, even nonfuturists have begun apologizing for the sin of humanity, accepting the superiority of their new robotic overlords, planning their own obsolescence. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, "Is It ‘Human Error’ When a Robot Fouls Up?," 15 June 2018 But our Seattle e-commerce overlords have trained us to expect it in mid-July. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "Amazon Prime Day 2018: Everything You Need to Know," 3 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of overlord

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overlord

Dictionary Entries near overlord








Statistics for overlord

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overlord

The first known use of overlord was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overlord



English Language Learners Definition of overlord

: a person who has power over a large number of people

More from Merriam-Webster on overlord

Britannica English: Translation of overlord for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about overlord

Comments on overlord

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


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!