war·​lord | \ˈwȯr-ˌlȯrd \

Definition of warlord 

1 : a supreme military leader

2 : a military commander exercising civil power by force usually in a limited area

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Other Words from warlord

warlordism \ ˈwȯr-​ˌlȯr-​ˌdi-​zəm \ noun

Examples of warlord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In two of the most chaotic prison systems—in Venezuela and Brazil—hundreds of prisoners die in gang fights each year and warlord inmates run vast drug-trafficking outfits that, on the outside, control swaths of territory. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World," 20 Sep. 2018 If so, citizens will support representatives of the national government rather than leaders of their own ethnic community or religious figures or local warlords. Nikita Lalwani, Washington Post, "When is nationalism a good thing? When it unites an ethnically diverse citizenry," 26 June 2018 Scales of justice Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former Congolese warlord, had his conviction for crimes against humanity overturned on appeal. The Economist, "Politics this week," 14 June 2018 Images of him posing with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a controversial former warlord making a propaganda play to the Muslim world, have sparked an international backlash. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "How the World Cup reflects the world," 14 June 2018 It's been less than been a month since a United Nations court in The Hague found former Serbian warlord Vojislav Seselj guilty of crimes against humanity. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "This former Serbian warlord tried to hold a rally in the same town where he committed crimes against humanity," 7 May 2018 More than 125 locals were gunned down on July 12, 1990, by forces under warlord Charles Taylor in what became known as the Bakiedou Massacre, one of many mass killings of civilians during the brutal tribal war in Liberia between 1989 and 1997. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "'The only good Krahn man is a dead Krahn man': How culpable is Delco resident for ethnic atrocities in Liberia?," 22 June 2018 Even in Chechnya, where warlords were at one point decapitating hostages and posting their heads on spikes, the Frenchman managed to stay safe. Janine Di Giovanni, Newsweek, "In Syria, Reporters Are Targets for Kidnapping," 29 Apr. 2014 Ramzan Kadyrov, a Chechen warlord who has pacified the restive Muslim region on Moscow’s orders at the cost of hundreds of alleged extrajudicial killings, got to parade Egypt’s soccer star Mohamad Salah in the stadium of regional capital Grozny. Anatoly Kurmanaev, WSJ, "World Cup Gives Putin’s Policies a Global Stage," 13 June 2018

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

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for warlord

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for warlord

The first known use of warlord was in 1856

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English Language Learners Definition of warlord

: a leader of a military group who is not officially recognized and who fights against other leaders, groups, or governments

More from Merriam-Webster on warlord

Nglish: Translation of warlord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about warlord

Comments on warlord

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by force of circumstances

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