Definition of robber baron in English:

robber baron


  • A person who has become rich through ruthless and unscrupulous business practices (originally with reference to prominent US businessmen in the late 19th century):

    ‘both political parties served the interests of the corporate robber barons’
    ‘robber barons paid their employees bare subsistence wages’
    • ‘He has set up a $22 billion foundation, in part to rescue his reputation from the charge that he is a modern-day robber baron.’
    • ‘Henry Huttleston Rogers, a well-known robber baron who made millions as a vice president of Standard Oil, bought Atlas Tack and brought it to Fairhaven in 1901.’
    • ‘The reality is that if you monopolists would stop thinking like the robber barons of old and start thinking like the entrepreneurs of today, you would encounter another path.’
    • ‘Great fortunes have usually been built by industrial tycoons, sometimes known as robber barons.’
    • ‘The company may be taken over by a robber baron such as Maxwell who clears out the pension fund for his own personal gain.’


Early 19th century: originally denoting a feudal lord who engaged in plundering.


robber baron

/rɒbə ˈbarən/