Definition of lord in US English:



  • 1Someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler.

    ‘lord of the sea’
    ‘lords of the jungle’
    ‘our lord the king’
    • ‘General lawlessness has boosted poppy production, exacerbating the stark contrast between the drug lords ' riches and the abject poverty in which most citizens live.’
    • ‘Social, complex, gentle giants of the sea, whales are the keepers of the ocean, the lords of the sea and will be here to spread their magic across the earth for many centuries more.’
    • ‘So it has now become a drug country; that is, the military are essentially drug lords.’
    • ‘These lords of capitalism will get off scot-free of criminal charges.’
    • ‘That is just a hint of what is actually a fairly convoluted story about CIA operatives, drug lords, refugees, and friendships.’
    • ‘He says police can be bribed and drug lords have a powerful influence on who will be spending time in jail and who will be released.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it is the feather that has made the birds lords of the air.’
    • ‘The drug lords and their rebel armies are moving into other Latin American nations because a new government is getting the upper hand.’
    • ‘The clout of the drug lords and traffickers would diminish, as would the funding of guerrillas and paramilitaries.’
    • ‘There were a few who exhibited signs of demonic influence, but not that of a great ‘demon lord.’’
    • ‘First, to grant his wish of being rich and powerful she makes him a drug lord in his jungle fastness.’
    • ‘That was because he was known to be the largest crime lord in the entire country and no one ever dared challenge him.’
    • ‘Most threat studies focus on foreign armed forces, often providing only cursory analyses of terrorists, drug lords, and rogue nations.’
    • ‘The country has sent troops to help the government combat the drug lords, rightist paramilitary forces and rebel insurgents in a 40-year conflict.’
    • ‘That is exactly what our government, media lords, and spin-doctors wanted, and achieved, for us, ie. reducing us to a state of insecurity and total confusion.’
    master, lord and master, ruler, leader, chief, superior, monarch, sovereign, king, emperor, prince, governor, commander, captain, overlord, suzerain, baron, potentate, liege, liege lord
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    1. 1.1 (in the UK) a man of noble rank or high office; a peer.
      • ‘I know that he, the two lords, and the lady live together as brothers and sister, but I know not their names.’
      • ‘‘I'm sure the lords and the ladies will be there but we've got a lot of farmers, shepherds and engineers from here who are going too, working people,’ says Ann.’
      • ‘When the ‘great fear’ erupted in many parts of France in 1789, the peasants who revolted made no distinction between noble and commoner lords.’
      • ‘The noble lord had gone to bed drunk, woken up an hour later, still drunk, and had convinced himself that it was breakfast time.’
      • ‘The noble lord spends most of his time alone and prefers not to talk about the four-year sentence he received for perjury.’
      • ‘There he established a committee of great lords and other nobles to co-ordinate counter-revolutionary activity.’
      • ‘In the past, noble lords and rich men - when they could get a licence from the Crown - built themselves a living larder in the shape of a deer park with high fences and walls.’
      • ‘All three of them were dressed up, wearing clothing designed for lords and nobles.’
      • ‘There are nearly 200 knights, lords, and their ladies milling about, conversing, boasting, laughing.’
      • ‘In fact, those dancing ladies and leaping lords were the most expensive items on the list.’
      • ‘Stirrings of trouble have begun all over the land, in mines, on farms, in the houses of noble lords.’
      • ‘War was messy, and not a thing for delicate gentle lords and gentle ladies to discuss.’
      • ‘Both these noble lords ruled that no politician or civil servant was to blame.’
      • ‘Had Arthur considered the pain that he should cause his knights, lords, nobles, wife?’
      • ‘The banquet hall was bright and cheerful, full of nobles and lords looking dignified and regal.’
      • ‘For centuries the House of Lords was made up of old aristocrats, those who were born lords or ladies.’
      noble, nobleman, peer, aristocrat, patrician, grandee
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    2. 1.2 (in the UK) a title given formally to a baron, and less formally to a marquess, earl, or viscount (prefixed to a family or territorial name)
      ‘Lord Derby’
      • ‘Lord Somerset is one of the most important and influential statesmen to have lived in the nineteenth century.’
      • ‘Lord Derby served as British Minister of War from 1916-18 during World War One.’
      • ‘Who, then, was this Lord Chesterfield, about whom all of this proverbial fuss has been made?’
    3. 1.3 (in the UK) the House of Lords, or its members collectively.
      • ‘The Electoral Reform Society welcomed the commitment to a free vote on the composition of the Lords.’
      • ‘Blocked by the Lords, it was not passed as an ordinance for another four months.’
      • ‘By using the Act the Government can pass a bill into law without the Lords ' agreement after a year.’
      • ‘The largely hereditary composition of the Lords has been modified by two pieces of legislation.’
      • ‘The legislation is likely to be blocked in the Lords at the time of the General Election, expected in May.’
      • ‘The bill underwent its fourth day of scrutiny during the committee stage in the Lords on Monday.’
      • ‘Those bishops who sit in the Lords do so, not as peers, but as lords of Parliament.’
      • ‘In the old days, the Lords was simply made up of individuals who happened to be born into the right family at the right time.’
      • ‘He combined this post with being Deputy Leader of the Lords.’
      • ‘This would clear the way for it to go to the Lords before the end of the parliamentary session in the autumn.’
      • ‘There is support in the manifesto for a free vote of MPs on the make-up of the Lords.’
      • ‘Well, we'll see this week when the Lords throws out the measure to repeal Section 28.’
      • ‘Expenses figures from Westminster show he has resumed a busy schedule in the Lords.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen whether the Government will push it through without the approval of the Lords.’
      • ‘This is a manifesto commitment and we will use the parliament act if the Lords object.’
      • ‘Perhaps it would be best to skip the Commons and start on lobbying the Lords.’
      • ‘It was left to the other half of the legislature, the Lords, to take a stand.’
      • ‘Television cameras are now part of daily life in the House of Commons and the Lords.’
      • ‘Thankfully action is now being taken - I just hope that it does not get delayed too badly in the Lords.’
      • ‘The Fireworks Bill was given its third reading in the Lords without debate.’
    4. 1.4 (in the UK) a courtesy title given to a younger son of a duke or marquess (prefixed to a Christian name)
      ‘Lord John Russell’
      • ‘Lord Edward Fitz Gerald (1763-98), fifth son of the duke of Leinster, inherited a legacy of active family rebellion against England in Tudor times.’
      • ‘The Duke's younger brother, Lord Edward Corinth, and journalist Verity Browne, set out to investigate.’
      • ‘Lord Edward bears a passing resemblance to Lord Peter but he is a year or two younger.’
      • ‘Born premature and always small in stature, Lord John Russell served twice as prime minister.’
    5. 1.5 (in the UK) in compound titles of other people of authority.
      ‘Lord High Executioner’
      • ‘"Please, Lord High Executioner, I beg you don't do this. The Queen has never once confided her infidelities to me. I know nothing of this."’
      • ‘The position of Lord High Steward of England, not to be confused with the Lord Steward, a court functionary, is the first of the Great Officers of State.’
      • ‘It concerns our leading judges, including - also very directly - the Lord Chief Justice, and how the judiciary responds to political and media pressure.’
    6. 1.6historical A feudal superior, especially the proprietor of a manor house.
      • ‘Princes, clerics, and feudal lords often levied taxes, tithes, and rents as shares of certain crops.’
      • ‘Renters were squeezed by high rents in the decades before the Revolution, and many peasants found themselves facing lords who collected seigneurial dues with more rigour than ever.’
      • ‘Merchants were allied to feudal lords who protected their interests.’
      • ‘In Scotland the role of the feudal lord was superimposed upon the more ancient status of chief of a clan or kindred.’
      • ‘The Anglo-Saxons used oaths not only to swear fealty to feudal lords, but also to ensure honesty during legal proceedings and transactions.’
    7. 1.7 A name for God or Christ.
      ‘give thanks to the Lord’
      • ‘Everyone will know the Gospel, and everyone will know The Lord.’
      • ‘Let my words reflect the life, love, and grace of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray, amen.’
      • ‘I ask this in the mighty name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!’
      • ‘The one person is the Lord Jesus Christ, or Jesus Christ the Lord.’
      • ‘They had had a revelation of who Jesus is: both Lord and Christ.’
      god, the father, jehovah, the almighty, the supreme being, the deity
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  • Used in exclamations expressing surprise or worry, or for emphasis.

    ‘Lord, I'm cold!’
    • ‘I've tried - Lord, how I've tried - to pay zero attention to the court case.’
    • ‘She felt a faint pang of fear and unknowing. Oh, Lord!’
    • ‘I held a one-woman demonstration in favor of Gay Pride in Erie, PA over 30 years ago - Lord!’
    • ‘Someone Save Me From These Turbulent Republicans! - Oh, Lord!’
    • ‘Oh Lord! What a wonderful occasion!’


  • 1lord it overAct in a superior and domineering manner toward (someone).

    • ‘We do not seek to be considered superior to heterosexuals and lord it over them.’
    • ‘Those who are stronger, prettier and quicker tend to lord it over the kids who don't have those qualities that make one popular.’
    • ‘Sure, our game has seen extraordinary characters in the recent past, lording it over this or that club.’
    • ‘And they lorded it over us when we made mistakes.’
    • ‘It is a short step to lording it over your dispirited, lonely and inevitably disappointed wife, and your deracinated offspring.’
    • ‘She needed Amanda to help her through life; Amanda clearly needed Jennifer in order to be able to boss about and lord it over someone.’
    • ‘Since the 16th century the Perrots had lorded it over Pembrokeshire, the grandest of them the giant Sir John, the viceroy of Ireland, said to have been the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.’
    • ‘For too long, parents have lorded it over their children!’
    • ‘In the seven games that they won the young squad travelled thousands of kilometres, lording it over 191 other contesting schools.’
    • ‘The side which has absolutely lorded it over English club rugby for the best part of a decade have shown that their horizons have stretched outside domestic domination.’
    • ‘It was fast developing into a two-tier event, with France and England lording it over the Celtic subordinates.’
    • ‘She's really intelligent but she never throws it in your face or tries to lord it over you.’
    • ‘The second-ranked bird can lord it over all those below it, and so on.’
    • ‘The general behavior of the sprinters - lording it over their opponents in a taunting and self-congratulatory manner - was the opposite of what the Olympics are supposed to be about: international friendship and solidarity.’
    • ‘When things are going well for them politically, they are unbearably arrogant, shoving it in everyone's faces, ungraciously lording it over all concerned.’
    • ‘A while back, I wondered: ‘How long can the equilibrium of technically incompetent rulers lording it over technologically advanced societies be maintained?’’
    • ‘My lovely wife has been lording it over me ever since, unimpressed with the meager success I've had with prior awards.’
    • ‘If we hadn't done it they would have been strutting around on the steps lording it over everyone.’
    • ‘This is not about lording it over Unionism but a genuine new start for future generations.’
    • ‘Their contempt for those they lorded it over never diminished.’
    order about, order around, boss about, boss around, give orders to, domineer, dominate, dictate to, pull rank on, tyrannize, bully, browbeat, oppress, repress, ride roughshod over, have under one's thumb
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  • 2archaic with object Confer the title of Lord upon.

    • ‘Patronage from the leader of your party would be the way to get lorded.’


  • live like a lord

    • Live sumptuously.

      • ‘But compared to most people around the world, I live like a lord.’
      • ‘This package gives you the chance to really live like a lord!’
      • ‘Gianni was well-to-do, and lived like a lord, but Lisi was so poor that he could hardly keep body and soul together.’
      • ‘Currently, in Transylvania, it costs comparatively little to live like a lord.’
      • ‘The restaurant at lunchtime is a great place to start living like a lord.’
      • ‘He lived like a lord in a luxurious villa whose German owner he had evicted, driving through the locality in a white 1938 Mercedes Benz with a German girlfriend on his arm.’
      • ‘But many lords were more interested in, well, living like a lord, not acting like an accountant.’
      • ‘In his home he had many white servants and henchmen and really lived like a lord.’
      • ‘Of course at that time I was a single man and lived like a lord.’
      • ‘You can live like a lord in castles and elegant manor houses or stay in cozy village inns and luxury hotels in prime locations.’
  • Lord (God) of hosts

    • God as Lord over earthly or heavenly armies.

      • ‘For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.’
      • ‘I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’
      • ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’
      • ‘O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee ’.’
      • ‘And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith The Lord of hosts.’
  • lord of the manor

    • The owner of a manor house (formerly the master of a feudal manor).

      • ‘The poll tax was withdrawn but the peasants were forced back into their old way of life - under the control of the lord of the manor.’
      • ‘This reliance on the local lord of the manor was all part of the feudal system introduced by William the Conqueror.’
      • ‘After the Norman Conquest the system of feudal landholding required the lord of the manor to provide a court for his tenants.’
      • ‘This was a tax paid to the lord of the manor when an animal had been sold by its owner.’
      • ‘So, the peasants paid taxes to the king, taxes to the church, taxes and dues to the lord of the manor, as well as numerous indirect taxes on wine, salt, and bread.’
      • ‘By the Statute of Merton the lord of the manor or other owner of a village was allowed to enclose waste land for his own use only if he left adequate pasture for the villagers.’
      • ‘In medieval Europe, everyone from the lord of the manor to the village locals had a say in deciding who should wed.’
      • ‘Yet manorial extents from the 1200s onwards often indicate considerable changes in the area of the lord of the manor's demesne and its management.’
      • ‘In feudal times the serfs had to rely on the beneficence of the lord of the manor.’
      • ‘For instance, the lords of the manor were learning to make better use of their serfs.’
      noble, nobleman, peer, aristocrat, patrician, grandee
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  • Lord of Misrule

    • historical A person presiding over Christmas games and revelry in a wealthy household.

      • ‘Cromwell's Puritanism was offended by bacchanalian revelry, led by the Lord of Misrule.’
      • ‘Our pagan ancestors had a wild and boozy time presided over by the Lord of Misrule, who got up to rude and mischievous pranks.’
      • ‘The fun was presided over by the Lord of Misrule, full of lewd and naughty pranks - and usually strictly for the grown-ups.’
      • ‘One night just before Yuletide, the Lord of Misrule pursued the Wren Boys through London's cobbled streets.’
      • ‘The songs they sang were traditional and tied in with pre-Victorian mid-winter celebrations where the Lord of Misrule presided over jollities which were rather wild at heart.’
  • the Lord's Day

    • Sunday.

      • ‘It is not the specifically Jewish Sabbath we observe, but the Lord's Day that is the Christian Sabbath.’
      • ‘Some felt it a religious duty to observe days other than the Lord's Day.’
      • ‘Throughout the whole sickness he regularly preached every Lord's Day in some of the churches.’
      • ‘There are certain things to which the church should be committed, and one of those is the role of the Lord's Day in the life of the churches.’
      • ‘In 1993 the Sunday Trading Act set about dismantling the legislation protecting the Lord's Day.’
      • ‘But they would assemble as we do on the first day of the week for worship and, frequently, if not every Lord's Day, they would celebrate the sacrament.’
      • ‘Is it possible to have a healthy involvement in sport, and still put Christianity first particularly when it comes to keeping the Lord's Day?’
      • ‘Sunday is the Lord's Day, the Christian sabbath on which we rest from our labors and in Christ and refresh ourselves in worship.’
      • ‘We rely on preaching in our church, and we have two services with preaching every Lord's Day, because we are confident in this method Jesus used and that God has promised to bless.’
      • ‘Others mistakenly think that keeping the Lord's Day or attending church meetings (or doing any number of religious things) earn saving merit.’
  • the Lord's Prayer

    • The prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples, beginning “Our Father.”.

      • ‘This is how we will experience the peace and unity with the Father that the Lord's Prayer describes so beautifully.’
      • ‘These are the seminal texts of the tradition: the Lord's Prayer, the Magnificat, the Benedictus.’
      • ‘Then, kneeling or standing, say the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer.’
      • ‘When Jesus taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer, he used ‘Our Father’ to address God.’
      • ‘Meetings conclude by sharing prayer requests and saying the Lord's Prayer.’
      • ‘What gave him comfort and strength, he said, were the old liturgies and prayers - the psalms, the Lord's Prayer, the creeds.’
      • ‘There is even a section of prayers based on the Lord's Prayer.’
      • ‘Together with the huge congregation we recited the Nicene Creed and the Lord's Prayer.’
      • ‘As we have remarked earlier, the only part of the Lord's Prayer which Jesus repeated was the part dealing with forgiveness.’
      • ‘Imagine writing a book about the Lord's Prayer, or the Ave Maria, or one of Shakespeare's sonnets.’
  • the Lord's Supper

    • The Eucharist; Holy Communion (especially in Protestant use).

      • ‘The Lord's Supper and Christian worship continue this witness beyond initiation in baptism into the further dimensions of Christian life, already in the emerging kingdom of God but not yet completed.’
      • ‘God has given us two wonderful pictures of the gospel, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.’
      • ‘Should we call communion the Lord's Supper or Eucharist?’
      • ‘The earliest theologians were concerned not only with the meaning of the Scriptures, but also, with the theological implications of such Christian practices as baptism and the Lord's Supper.’
      • ‘In contrast to symbolic, visual worship, we have but two sacraments, the Lord's Supper and Baptism, and beyond that we are directed to worship not through anticipatory symbols and the visual, but in the Spirit through the word.’
      • ‘Even if they are baptized, Christians from denominations without a sacramental view of the Lord's Supper would hardly seem sufficiently informed about what is going on in the Episcopal rite to participate properly.’
      • ‘Protestants observe only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper, for we find that these are the only two that Jesus commanded to be observed.’
      • ‘That status is confined to the Lord's Supper and baptism.’
      • ‘A covenant sign was a marker token which was a reminder of reality - like the rainbow, circumcision, baptism and Lord's Supper.’
      • ‘We have God's word in Jesus, and we have God's grace in Baptism and the Lord's Supper.’
      eucharist, holy communion, lord's supper, mass
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  • My Lord

    • (in the UK) a polite form of address to judges, bishops, and certain noblemen.

      • ‘Unfortunately being Lord of the Manor doesn't entitle you to be addressed as My Lord.’
      • ‘"No, my Lord Bishop," said Robin, taking his hat off and bowing politely, "no, my lord, you cannot go yet."’
      • ‘The judge asked the doctor if he was sure of his testimony in light of the evidence from the other doctors. "I am quite certain, my lord," said the doctor.’
  • Our Lord

    • Christ.

      • ‘It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this.’
      • ‘This website is devoted to Jesus Christ Our Lord because of His infinite Good and Mercy.’
      • ‘And Our Lord is stronger than death since He has both raised us from the dead, and will raise us from the graves.’
      christ, jesus, jesus christ, the redeemer, the messiah, our lord, the lamb of god, the son of god, the son of man, the prince of peace, the king of kings, emmanuel
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Old English hlāford, from hlāfweard ‘bread-keeper’, from a Germanic base (see loaf, ward). Compare with lady.