mid-13c., laverd, loverd, from Old English hlaford "master of a household, ruler, superior," also "God" (translating Latin Dominus, though Old English drihten was used more often), earlier hlafweard, literally "one who guards the loaves," from hlaf "bread, loaf" (see loaf (n.)) + weard "keeper, guardian" (see ward (n.)). Cf. lady, and Old English hlafæta "household servant," literally "loaf-eater." Modern monosyllabic form emerged 14c. As an interjection from late 14c. Lord's Prayer is from 1540s. Lord of the Flies translates Beelzebub (q.v.) and was name of 1954 book by William Golding. To drink like a lord is from 1620s.
c.1300, "to exercise lordship," from lord (n.). Meaning "to play the lord, domineer" is late 14c. Related: Lorded; lording. To lord it is from 1570s.