Definition of lordship in English:



  • 1mass noun Supreme power or rule.

    ‘his lordship over the other gods’
    • ‘But the power of Carolo Augosto did not hail from the Pope, but instead from his lordship over the Franks, and, to a lesser extent, the Lombards.’
    • ‘Seignorial rights of this kind were commonly less dependent on lordship over ploughland, and less concerned with labour services, than the classic model of the manor would imply.’
    • ‘Bede and other sources mention a series of over-kings, originating from various kingdoms but successively wielding some sort of lordship over all or most of the Anglo-Saxon peoples.’
    • ‘The impact Norman castles have made on the development of Britain's landscapes and townscapes thus reflects many dimensions of medieval power and lordship.’
    • ‘The process continued through subsequent phases alongside the transformation of landed lordship into territorial lordship.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, the evolution of the Irish landscape and Irish lordship were moving in the same general directions as changes that could be found across a large swathe of central England and parts of Wales.’
    • ‘It was not unknown for a church to lie within a castle bailey itself, standing at the junction between the zone of lordship and the community beyond, and emphasising the seigneurial influence over ecclesiastical provision.’
    • ‘The resurrection celebrates his powerful demonstration over the effects of sin and his lordship over the historical intentions of the evil one.’
    • ‘Hence the higher necessity of his life, and his right to that lordship and control.’
    • ‘In the first place, kings were lords, and exploited the common powers of lordship as well as their own peculiar royal rights.’
    • ‘By contrast, the Tudors had no natural ties with Ireland and the English north where good rule and good lordship were seen to depend far more heavily on effective arrangements for defence.’
    • ‘The Count was ‘a master of the gestures and manners required to affirm lordship over his inferiors.’’
    • ‘His brother Edward wanted to be king of Ireland and succeeded in 1316, repulsing the English sovereign lordship.’
    • ‘There were 276 burgesses in 1086 under the direct lordship of the king, and about 450 households in all within the borough's boundaries.’
    • ‘Harrod blamed the Bishop for exploiting hostilities between groups of townsmen, so as to consolidate his own lordship over the borough.’
    supremacy, ascendancy, dominance, domination, superiority, predominance, pre-eminence, primacy, hegemony, authority, mastery, control, command, direction, power, sway, rule, government, jurisdiction, sovereignty, suzerainty, overlordship
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic The authority or state of being a lord.
      ‘Durham had become another sphere in which he could exercise his good lordship’
      • ‘Edward I was equally intent on exerting his superior lordship over Scotland.’
      • ‘Earthly rulers wield lordship and exercise authority over those whom they rule.’
      • ‘Whereas Matthew and Luke spoke directly of the kings of the gentiles, Mark was decidedly ironic in speaking of those who supposedly rule over the Gentiles and wield lordship over them.’
      • ‘In 1171 King Henry II successfully asserted his lordship over his subjects who had gone to Ireland and also many of the Irish kings, thus adding Ireland to the lands of the English king.’
    2. 1.2historical count noun A piece of land belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a lord.
      ‘lands including the lordship of Denbigh’
      • ‘If a follower didn't like the way he was being treated by one particular lord in one lordship, he could and frequently did move elsewhere the following year.’
      • ‘At the same time Wales was divided into counties or shires, some of which were based on and named after the ancient lordships.’
      • ‘Thereafter Wales was divided between the Principality, royal lands, and virtually independent marcher lordships.’
      • ‘Upon the death of Walter de Lacy in 1241 his two granddaughters became heiresses to his lands and lordships in England, the Welsh Marches, and Ireland.’
      • ‘Henry V showed firmness tempered by conciliation in dealing with Welshmen immediately after the rebellion collapsed, and marcher lords were ordered to attend to their lordships.’
  • 2His/Your" etc. "Lordship(in the UK) a respectful form of reference or address to a judge, a bishop, or a man with a title.

    ‘if Your Lordship pleases’
    • ‘Your Lordship's judgment has analysed in great detail exactly what the was, which in fact was not particularly clear when we came to draft the grounds of appeal.’
    • ‘We attempted to draw your Lordship to primary documents that presented a fair and objective picture.’
    • ‘Your Lordship, it is a high figure and I think I must make submissions about it.’
    • ‘There is nothing, in our submission, that your Lordship can direct appropriately today.’
    • ‘What I am hoping for here, your Lordship, is that, if one bill is scrutinised, why not another?’
    • ‘At 4.00 p.m. on Sunday there will be a public meeting at which His Lordship, Bishop Lee will speak.’
    • ‘Would your Lordship order the claimant to pay the Secretary of State's costs?’
    • ‘I will personally write to him with a copy of the judgment and indicate what your Lordship has told me this morning.’
    • ‘All these matters were outside His Lordship's terms of reference.’
    • ‘It is not appropriate for your Lordship to deal with that here and now.’
    • ‘Michel went on for fear that Jean would speak anyway, ‘I've interviewed His Lordship and heard quite the tale of betrayal and at times loyalty on his part.’’
    • ‘His Lordship added that it may be that these considerations would also justify a finding of negligence.’
    • ‘We are, of course, very concerned about that, as your Lordship will appreciate.’
    • ‘I gather there is no application for costs so would your Lordship please order a detailed assessment?’
    • ‘I am happy to be able to tell Your Lordship that an amicable agreement has been reached between the claimants and the defendant which achieves exactly that.’
    1. 2.1British ironic A form of address or reference to a man thought to be acting in a pretentious way.


Old English hlāfordscipe (see lord, -ship).