war·​lord ˈwȯr-ˌlȯrd How to pronounce warlord (audio)
: a supreme military leader
: a military commander exercising civil power by force usually in a limited area
warlordism noun

Examples of warlord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Events that purportedly failed to rise to the radical occasion include the English Revolution (merely a bid for bourgeois power, skeptics say), the Mexican Revolution (a rivalry between warlords), and even the French Revolution. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 Waiting to attack are one thousand heavily armed bandits, disgruntled ex-soldiers led by a charismatic 25-year-old rebel who is dead-set on freeing his province from the yoke of a brutal warlord. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Mar. 2024 As the tea ceremony gained in popularity, powerful warlords competed in acquiring the most coveted utensils, including braziers, kettles, scoops, whisks and the bowllike cups in which the tea was whipped and sipped. Paul S. Atkins, The Conversation, 12 Mar. 2024 Brolin made his foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the warlord Thanos in the Avengers film series. Sarah Weldon, EW.com, 5 Mar. 2024 Instead, the warlord took Adams into his confidence. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Feb. 2024 The war engulfing Sudan is no simple ethnic conflict or power struggle between two warlords. John Prendergast, Foreign Affairs, 27 Feb. 2024 Russia’s malign online influence operations are doing just fine after the oh-so-mysterious death of Wagner Group warlord and attempted insurrectionist Yevgeny Prigozhin, who also ran the notorious Internet Research Agency troll farm, Microsoft’s security researchers have established. David Meyer, Fortune, 11 Dec. 2023 The local warlord wants to go in guns blazing, hostage safety be damned, while foreign diplomats demand Beijing to do everything in its power to keep the foreigners alive. Nick Lichtenberg, Fortune, 30 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'warlord.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of warlord was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near warlord

Cite this Entry

“Warlord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warlord. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an important military leader
: a military leader who governs an area by force

More from Merriam-Webster on warlord

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