robber baron

noun

Definition of robber baron

1 : an American capitalist of the latter part of the 19th century who became wealthy through exploitation (as of natural resources, governmental influence, or low wage scales)
2 : a business owner or executive who acquires wealth through ethically questionable tactics

Examples of robber baron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At the very top of this Gilded Age rode the robber barons—the first expert manipulators of the corporation, one of the industrial revolution’s most powerful innovations. Gregory Crouch, WSJ, "‘The Edge of Anarchy’ Review: Blood On the Tracks," 7 Jan. 2019 All of this is to say that much like the Rich Kids of Instagram before them, and the children of 20th-century robber barons before them, many of those participating in the #FallingStars challenge are showing off inherited wealth. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "The #FallingStars challenge highlights extreme wealth — and extreme inequality," 26 Oct. 2018 So all these comments about ‘the robber barons are going to come in and steal our property’ are not true. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "New pitch for golf practice facility at Highland Park Country Club gets cool reception," 12 July 2018 Like the preps, punks, and robber barons before us, you Fresh Princes of Bit Air must understand that our lifestyle has rules, and any deviation from them could prove ruinous. Mike Albo And Amanda Duarte, Town & Country, "The Official Bitcoin Billionaire's Handbook," 6 Mar. 2018 New-economy behemoths are exercising a market dominance not seen since America’s robber barons. The Economist, "Rulers of the world: read Karl Marx!," 3 May 2018 Ifirst became aware of the work of French designer Henri Samuel in the mid-1980s, in what might be called his robber baron phase. David Netto, Town & Country, "The Enduring Legacy of French Interior Designer Henri Samuel," 15 Mar. 2018 Like 19th century robber barons, today’s tech titans atone their excesses by offering handouts to a public torn between admiration and resentment, between capitalist striving and the daily grind of precarity. Jacob Silverman, Longreads, "The Billionaire Philanthropist," 13 Mar. 2018 Capitalists aren’t just robber barons and the very rich. Lily Rothman, Time, "How American Inequality in the Gilded Age Compares to Today," 5 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'robber baron.' 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 robber baron

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for robber baron

The first known use of robber baron was in 1878

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More Definitions for robber baron

robber baron

noun

English Language Learners Definition of robber baron

: a wealthy person who tries to get land, businesses, or more money in a way that is dishonest or wrong

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