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[lawrd] /lɔrd/
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)
  1. the title of certain high officials (used with some other title, name, or the like):
    Lord Mayor of London.
  2. the formally polite title of a bishop:
    Lord Bishop of Durham.
  3. 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
before 900; Middle English lord, loverd, Old English hlāford, hlāfweard literally, loaf-keeper. See loaf1, ward
Related forms
lordlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for lords


the Lords, short for House of Lords


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 manor Compare lady (sense 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
(transitive) (rare) to make a lord of (a person)
to act in a superior manner towards (esp in the phrase lord it over)
Derived Forms
lordless, adjective
lordlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English hlāford bread keeper; see loaf1, ward


a title given to God or Jesus Christ
  1. a title given to men of high birth, specifically to an earl, marquess, baron, or viscount
  2. a courtesy title given to the younger sons of a duke or marquess
  3. the ceremonial title of certain high officials or of a bishop or archbishop: Lord Mayor, Lord of Appeal, Law Lord, Lord Bishop of Durham
(sometimes not capital) an exclamation of dismay, surprise, etc: Good Lord!, Lord only knows!
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lords



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for lords


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The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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lords in the Bible

There are various Hebrew and Greek words so rendered. (1.) Heb. Jehovah, has been rendered in the English Bible LORD, printed in small capitals. This is the proper name of the God of the Hebrews. The form "Jehovah" is retained only in Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4, both in the Authorized and the Revised Version. (2.) Heb. 'adon, means one possessed of absolute control. It denotes a master, as of slaves (Gen. 24:14, 27), or a ruler of his subjects (45:8), or a husband, as lord of his wife (18:12). The old plural form of this Hebrew word is _'adonai_. From a superstitious reverence for the name "Jehovah," the Jews, in reading their Scriptures, whenever that name occurred, always pronounced it _'Adonai_. (3.) Greek kurios, a supreme master, etc. In the LXX. this is invariably used for "Jehovah" and "'Adonai." (4.) Heb. ba'al, a master, as having domination. This word is applied to human relations, as that of husband, to persons skilled in some art or profession, and to heathen deities. "The men of Shechem," literally "the baals of Shechem" (Judg. 9:2, 3). These were the Israelite inhabitants who had reduced the Canaanites to a condition of vassalage (Josh. 16:10; 17:13). (5.) Heb. seren, applied exclusively to the "lords of the Philistines" (Judg. 3:3). The LXX. render it by satrapies. At this period the Philistines were not, as at a later period (1 Sam. 21:10), under a kingly government. (See Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:18.) There were five such lordships, viz., Gath, Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with lords


In addition to the idiom beginning with lord also see: drunk as a lord
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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