- a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler.
- a person who exercises authority from property rights; an owner of land, houses, etc.
- a person who is a leader or has great influence in a chosen profession: the great lords of banking.
- a feudal superior; the proprietor of a manor.
- a titled nobleman or peer; a person whose ordinary appellation contains by courtesy the title Lord or some higher title.
- Lords, the Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal comprising the House of Lords.
- (initial capital letter) (in Britain)
- the title of certain high officials (used with some other title, name, or the like): Lord Mayor of London.
- the formally polite title of a bishop: Lord Bishop of Durham.
- the title informally substituted for marquis, earl, viscount, etc., as in the use of Lord Kitchener for Earl Kitchener.
- (initial capital letter) the Supreme Being; God; Jehovah.
- (initial capital letter) the Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Astrology. a planet having dominating influence.
- (often initial capital letter) (used in exclamatory phrases to express surprise, elation, etc.): Lord, what a beautiful day!
- lord it, to assume airs of importance and authority; behave arrogantly or dictatorially; domineer: to lord it over the menial workers.
Origin of lord
- a person who has power or authority over others, such as a monarch or master
- a male member of the nobility, esp in Britain
- (in medieval Europe) a feudal superior, esp the master of a manorCompare lady (def. 5)
- a husband considered as head of the household (archaic except in the facetious phrase lord and master)
- astrology a planet having a dominating influence
- my lord a respectful form of address used to a judge, bishop, or nobleman
- (tr) rare to make a lord of (a person)
- to act in a superior manner towards (esp in the phrase lord it over)
- a title given to God or Jesus Christ
- a title given to men of high birth, specifically to an earl, marquess, baron, or viscount
- a courtesy title given to the younger sons of a duke or marquess
- the ceremonial title of certain high officials or of a bishop or archbishopLord Mayor; Lord of Appeal; Law Lord; Lord Bishop of Durham
- (sometimes not capital) an exclamation of dismay, surprise, etcGood Lord!; Lord only knows!
Word Origin and History for lord
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.