war·​lord | \ ˈwȯr-ˌlȯrd How to pronounce warlord (audio) \

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 How to pronounce warlord (audio) \ noun

Examples of warlord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the center of the country, a low-intensity fight between government forces and the militia of a minority Shiite warlord has been smoldering for months, fueled by the downing of an Afghan forces helicopter in March. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Afghan President in ‘Desperate Situation’ as His Power Is Undermined," 10 Apr. 2021 The government has launched an assault in central Maidan Wardak province, vowing to punish the warlord, Abdul Ghani Alipoor, after the defense minister accused his fighters of shooting down a military helicopter last week, killing nine personnel. Rahim Faiez, The Christian Science Monitor, "Afghanistan warlords remain wild cards in path to progress," 23 Mar. 2021 Their host country was fighting a brutal war and considered defeating Shekau a bigger priority than rescuing the schoolgirls that the warlord had turned into human shields. Joe Parkinson, The Atlantic, "When America Couldn’t Bring Back Our Girls," 3 Apr. 2021 The hilltop castle was first built by warlord Shigenobu Matsura in 1599, when the port city of Hirado was a rare cosmopolitan hub for foreign trade. Richard Morgan, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Historic Japanese Castle Is Now Open for Year-Round Stays," 1 Apr. 2021 International Criminal Court judges are scheduled to deliver a verdict in the appeal of the 2019 conviction of Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda for his role in atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: Is Suez Canal megaship a trend too far?," 29 Mar. 2021 Its sprung wooden dance floor—and a smaller, underlit crystal one upstairs—enticed clientele including Xu Zhimo (a poet), Zhang Xueliang (a warlord) and Charlie Chaplin. The Economist, "The lost and future glamour of a Shanghai ballroom," 13 Mar. 2021 Around 1263, Pope Urban IV issued a papal bull that cautiously welcomed Hulagu Khan, a Mongol warlord who the pope hoped would convert to Christianity. Washington Post, "The symbolic power of the papal visit to Iraq," 8 Mar. 2021 Snipes’s flamboyant warlord pretty much steals the show (much as his pretentious director character stole Dolemite), but the show doesn’t steal him back. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "Coming 2 America Is Both Figuratively and Literally a Nostalgia Trip," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for warlord

Time Traveler

The first known use of warlord was in 1856

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Statistics for warlord

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Warlord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warlord. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on warlord

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for warlord

Nglish: Translation of warlord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about warlord

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