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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
1150-1200; Middle English; see over-, lord
Related forms
overlordship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for overlordship
Historical Examples
  • 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 old kings who acknowledged his overlordship he reinstated as his earls in their former dominions.

    The Story of Norway Hjalmar H. Boyesen
  • The overlordship of Harthacanute may have been recognised, but the administration was divided.

    Canute the Great Laurence Marcellus Larson
  • It was a beneficent monarch, but it brooked no denial of its overlordship.

  • In the other field, that of overlordship, the subtleties were still more elusive.

    The Quickening Francis Lynde
  • They are a middle-class empire, untainted by imperial ambition or ancient traditions of overlordship.

    People of Destiny Philip Gibbs
  • It is simply that they realize the danger of this softness, this overlordship of women!

    Captivity M. Leonora Eyles
  • The place was under the overlordship of the Angevin kings of Naples, but really under the influence of the kings of France.

    A Short History of Italy Henry Dwight Sedgwick
  • During his reign there was trouble with the emperor as to the overlordship of Frisia.

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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