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

Examples from the Web for overlordship

Historical Examples of overlordship

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for overlordship



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 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