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

The coalition forces are comprised of a dizzying mix of militias, factions, tribal warlords and tribes with very local interests. Maggie Michael, Fox News, "'Unite with the devil': Yemen war binds US, allies, al-Qaida," 7 Aug. 2018 Wehrey crisscrossed the country, flew back and forth along the coast, and sat with warlords and Islamists of uncertain intentions. Dexter Filkins, New York Times, "Why Libya Continues to Burn," 18 May 2018 Growth has returned, exports are up, some of the weakest banks have been repaired and even the migration crisis seems to be under control, thanks to a deal with Libya’s warlords. The Economist, "Povera ItaliaItaly goes to the polls with bleak electoral prospects," 1 Mar. 2018 The Libyan warlord, fifth from right, met with leaders from Italy, France, Russia, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, the European Union and the United Nations in Palermo. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Libyan Warlord Embraced by Foreign Leaders as a Key to Peace," 3 Dec. 2018 Al-Bashir remains at large, as does Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who was among the first rebels charged by the court in 2005. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "US relationship with international court crashes under Trump," 10 Sep. 2018 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

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

12 Feb 2019

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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

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excited commotion or publicity

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