robber baron


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 This vintage rail car sleeps two in robber baron splendor, although the accommodations are, by modern standards, compact. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "The six coolest, most unique Airbnb rentals, trailers, rooms and lodgings to stay in Fredericksburg right now," 2 Apr. 2021 Frank seeds his story with surprising but interrelated facts and anecdotes ranging from Isaac Newton (a pigeon aficionado) to the Voyager probes, from the Venetian painter Canaletto to the colonizer and robber baron Cecil Rhodes. Kathleen Rooney, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Flight of the Diamond Smugglers,' by Matthew Gavin Frank," 19 Feb. 2021 Roxbury, DelVecchio points out in the video, owes much of its visual legacy to several prominent figures of the Gilded Age, among them naturalist John Burroughs and robber baron Jay Gould, both born in the town. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "The ICAA's Latest Video Series Spotlights Overlooked Architectural Gems Across the Country," 23 July 2020 The lone passenger and his bicycle felt like a 19th century robber baron in his own private railroad carriage. Steve Rubenstein,, "On the bright side: Scout sews goodwill with mass of masks; the summer school must go on," 11 July 2020 Members of both parties had also floated the possibility of breaking up Silicon Valley’s monopoly power, treating tech CEOs like the robber barons of the Gilded Age. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "The End of the Backlash to Big Tech," 28 May 2020 Compared with these finance guys, the robber barons of the past look like Johnny Appleseed. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 4 May 2020 Critics at the time argued that robber barons such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were elevating their own position in society by depressing workers’ incomes and using philanthropy to dictate where profits went and to which causes. Anna Altman, Washington Post, "The Millennials Who Want to Get Rid of Their Class Privilege," 2 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile, the Northeastern robber barons who owned the mills along the river . Rashad Shabazz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Prince Would Not Sound Like Prince Without Minneapolis," 28 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for robber baron

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The first known use of robber baron was in 1878

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Statistics for robber baron

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Robber baron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for robber baron

robber baron


English Language Learners Definition of robber baron

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

Comments on robber baron

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