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[oh-ver-lawrd] /ˈoʊ vərˌlɔrd/
a person who is lord over another or over other lords:
to obey the will of one's sovereign and overlord.
a person of great influence, authority, power, or the like:
the overlords of industry.
verb (used with object)
to rule or govern arbitrarily or tyrannically; domineer.
Origin of overlord
Middle English word dating back to 1150-1200; See origin at over-, lord
Related forms
overlordship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overlordship
Historical Examples
  • It was a beneficent monarch, but it brooked no denial of its overlordship.

  • The same thing happened when Athelstan claimed his overlordship.

  • One by one the other Italian tribes submitted and accepted Roman overlordship.

    Ancient Rome Mary Agnes Hamilton
  • The overlordship of Harthacanute may have been recognised, but the administration was divided.

    Canute the Great Laurence Marcellus Larson
  • In the other field, that of overlordship, the subtleties were still more elusive.

    The Quickening Francis Lynde
  • It is simply that they realize the danger of this softness, this overlordship of women!


    M. Leonora Eyles
  • The old kings who acknowledged his overlordship he reinstated as his earls in their former dominions.

    The Story of Norway Hjalmar H. Boyesen
  • He received great fiefs, and though recognizing Erik's overlordship, conducted himself as an independent sovereign.

    The Story of Norway Hjalmar H. Boyesen
  • He received the dignity from King Haakon , before his countrymen had yet recognized the latter's overlordship.

    The Story of Norway Hjalmar H. Boyesen
  • And Nitti and d'Annunzio agreed with these interested parties in opposing a solution other than the overlordship of Italy.

British Dictionary definitions for overlordship


a supreme lord or master
Derived Forms
overlordship, noun
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 overlordship



c.1200, from over- + lord (n.). Chosen 1943 as the Allied code-word for the D-Day invasion of northern France.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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