Definition of Black Rod in US English:

Black Rod

(also Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod)


  • (in the UK) the chief usher of the Lord Chamberlain's department of the royal household, who is also usher to the House of Lords.

    • ‘From 1972 until 1996 the Usher of the Black Rod wore a sword on ceremonial occasions.’
    • ‘‘We in parliament were all very impressed by the way Black Rod handled the funeral.’’
    • ‘These days, once the Queen has taken to the throne to deliver her speech, she orders Black Rod to summon the MPs.’
    • ‘A message from Her Excellency the Governor-General desiring the immediate attendance of honourable members in the Legislative Council Chamber was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.’
    • ‘The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod announced the arrival of Her Majesty's Commissioners.’


Mid 17th century: so named because of the black wand carried as a symbol of office.


Black Rod

/ˌblak ˈräd//ˌblæk ˈrɑd/