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 formso·ver·lord·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for overlord

ruler, chief, despot, emperor, czar, suzerain

Examples from the Web for overlord

Contemporary Examples of overlord

Historical Examples of overlord

  • Ramiro del' Orca is a traitor who is plotting the death of his overlord.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Man is becoming the overlord of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms.


    Henri Bergson

  • Now, and for the first time, I knew the sea, and the men who overlord the sea.

  • That is, not the overlord himself, but the gentlefolks that were with the overlord.

    Jewish Children

    Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich

  • He retired to a neighbouring village and became the overlord of the district.

    The Empire of the East

    H. B. Montgomery

British Dictionary definitions for overlord



a supreme lord or master
Derived Formsoverlordship, 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

Word Origin and History for overlord

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