Definition of laird in English:



  • (in Scotland) a person who owns a large estate.

    • ‘The study - the first of its kind for 25 years, found that two thirds of lairds were absentee landowners.’
    • ‘Anderson's review uncovered the fact that many 99-year ground rent leases granted by the previous laird had not been properly converted to full title when the houses that stood upon the land were sold.’
    • ‘The main spiral staircase turns the ‘wrong ‘way because one of the original lairds, John Graham of Duchray, was left-handed.’’
    • ‘The Forestry Commission has given a Highland laird £2m to plant 2.5 million trees and create Scotland's largest native forest.’
    • ‘Most large old estates have a surplus of properties - a throwback to the days when the laird would have an army of servants.’
    • ‘The former leader of Scotland's lairds is selling about 500 acres of his Brucklay Estate in countryside west of Peterhead, along with 10 tenant houses, farmland, a lake and the ruins of a castle.’
    • ‘His big election idea is to persuade Highland lairds owning more than 5000 acres to part with 10 acres of land for housing to benefit surrounding local communities.’
    • ‘Mohamed Al-Fayed, owner of Harrods, is the laird of Balnagown Estate in Ross-shire, while actress Penelope Keith has a home in the Black Isle.’
    • ‘But land agents say they are also attracted by what is seen as the traditional lifestyle of the Scottish laird, and now want to add sporting estates to their property portfolios.’
    • ‘Like the rest of the Highlands and Islands, Skye suffered during the mid-19th century from the Clearances, when unscrupulous lairds forced crofters out of their homes and off the land to make way for sheep.’
    • ‘The eviction of a Rousay man in the 1880s by the former laird of the Trumland Estate, General Burroughs, has been commemorated by a stone plaque at the entrance to his family's croft.’
    • ‘The most striking of these is the dominance of the landed orders, the nobility and those representatives of the nobilitas minor who were known as gentry in England and Wales or lairds in Scotland.’
    • ‘Every year the men used to ride out along the boundaries of the land owned by the towns just to make sure that they were intact; that none of it had been settled on by squatters or enclosed by the local lairds.’
    • ‘Lairds may come and lairds may go, but the long-running BBC series Monarch of the Glen has retained its setting at the heart of Badenoch.’
    • ‘You usually don't have the freedom to do with the property as you want, but we have a laird who has let us get on with it.’
    • ‘In 1427, James I of Scotland passed an Act requiring all lairds to seek out and destroy wolves.’
    • ‘Whilst many lairds ' houses have survived, Stevenson House is particularly noteworthy as very few buildings of this type and calibre have survived.’
    • ‘His portrait is one of a series of some 30 portraits of members of Clan Grant commissioned from Richard Waitt by the lairds of Grant between 1713 and 1726.’
    • ‘The enduring mythology of the Highland Clearances in which reluctant emigrants were thrown aboard cattle boats and sent on horrific transatlantic crossings by evil lairds has been shattered in a new study.’
    • ‘Pete Astor and Wendy spent an enjoyable day looking over the new laird's estate and spent the night at the pub as honoured guests.’


Late Middle English: Scots form of lord.