see also: Lord, LORD
Pronunciation Noun

lord (plural lords)

  1. (obsolete) The master of the servants of a household; (historical) the master of a feudal manor
    1. (archaic) The male head of a household, a father or husband.
      • 831, charter in Henry Sweet, The oldest English texts, 445
        Ymbe ðet lond et cert ðe hire eðelmod hire hlabard salde.
      • 1594, William Shakespeare, "The Rape of Lucrece"
        ...thou worthie Lord,
        Of that vnworthie wife that greeteth thee
      • c. 1591, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (1623), act V, scene 2, 131 f.
        Pet. Katherine, I charge thee, tell theſe head-ſtrong women,
        What dutie they doe owe their Lords and huſbands!
      • 1611, King James Bible, Genesis 18:12
        Therefore Sarah laughed within her ſelfe, ſaying, After I am waxed old, ſhall I haue pleaſure, my lord being old alſo?
      • 1816, Jane Austen, Emma, III. xvi. 300
        Yes, here I am, my good friend; and here I have been so long, that anywhere else I should think it necessary to apologise; but, the truth is, that I am waiting for my lord and master.
    2. (archaic) The owner of a house, piece of land, or other possession
      • ante 1300, Cursor Mundi, 601 f.
        Als oure lauerd has heuen in hand
        Sua suld man be lauerd of land.
      • 1480, Waterford Archives in the 10th Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (1885), App. v. 316
        All suche lordes as have gutters betuxte thar houses.
      • ante 1637, Ben Jonson, Sad Shepherd, ii. i. 36
        A mightie Lord of Swine!
      • 1697, John Dryden translating Publius Virgilius Maro's Æneis, xii
        Wrench'd from his feeble hold the shining Sword;
        And plung'd it in the Bosom of its Lord.
      • 1874, J. H. Collins, Principles of Metal Mining (1875), Gloss. 139/2
        Lord, the owner of the land in which a mine is situated is called the ‘lord’.
  2. One possessing similar mastery over others; (historical) any feudal superior generally; any nobleman or aristocrat; any chief, prince, or sovereign ruler; in Scotland, a male member of the lowest rank of nobility (the equivalent rank in England is baron)
    • c. 893, Orosius's History, i. i. §13
      Ohthere sæde his hlaforde, Ælfrede cyninge, þæt...
    • 1530, John Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement, 680/1
      It is a pytuouse case... whan subjectes rebell agaynst their naturall lorde.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, xii. 70
      Man over men He made not Lord.
    1. (historical) A feudal tenant holding his manor directly of the king
    2. A peer of the realm, particularly a temporal one
      • ante 1375, William of Palerne (1867), l.4539
        To fare out as fast with his fader to speke, & with lordesse of þat lond.
      • ante 1420, T. Hoccleve, De Regimine Principum, 442
        Men myghten lordis knowe
        By there arraye, from oþir folke.
      • 1453, Rolls of Parliament, V. 266/2
        If such persone bee of the estate of a Lord, as Duc, Marques, Erle, Viscount or Baron.
      • 1597, William Shakespeare, The life and death of King Richard the Second, act IV, scene 1, 18
        Princes, and noble Lords:
        What anſwer ſhall I make to this baſe man?
      • 1614, J. Selden, Titles of Honor, 59
        Our English name Lord, whereby we and the Scots stile all such as are of the Greater Nobilitie i. Barons, as also Bishops.
      • 1900 July 21, Daily Express, 5/7
        The Englishman of to-day still dearly loves a lord.
    3. (obsolete, uncommon) A baron or lesser nobleman, as opposed to greater ones
      • 1526, W. Bonde, Pylgrimage of Perfection, i. sig. Bviiiv
        Farre excellyng the state of lordes, erles, dukes or kynges.
      • 1826, Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey, II. iii. iii. 26
        The Marquess played off the two Lords and the Baronet against his former friend.
  3. One possessing similar mastery in figurative senses (esp. as lord of ~)
    • ante 1300, Cursor Mundi, 782
      O wityng bath god and ill Ȝee suld be lauerds at ȝour will.
    • 1398, John Trevisa translating Bartholomew de Glanville's De Proprietatibus Rerum (1495), viii. xvi. 322
      The sonne is the lorde of planetes.
      1697, John Dryden translating Publius Virgilius Maro as Georgics, iii
      Love is Lord of all.
    • 1992 November 18, Larry David, Seinfeld, 4.11: "The Contest":
      But are you still master of your domain?
      I am king of the county. You?
      Lord of the manor.
    1. The magnates of a trade or profession
      • 1823, W. Cobbett, Rural Rides (1885), I. 399
        Oh, Oh! The cotton Lords are tearing!
  4. (astrology) The heavenly body considered to possess a dominant influence over an event, time, etc.
  5. (British, slang, obsolete) A hunchback.
    • 1699, B.E., A new dictionary of the terms ancient and modern of the canting crew:
      Lord, a very crooked, deformed... Person.
  6. (British, Australian, via Cockney rhyming slang, obsolete) Sixpence.
    • 1933 November 16, Times Literary Supplement, 782/1:
      Twenty years ago you might hear a sixpence described as a ‘Lord’ meaning ‘Lord of the Manor’; that is, a tanner.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

lord (lords, present participle lording; past and past participle lorded)

  1. (intransitive and transitive) Domineer or act like a lord.
    • The grisly toadstool grown there might I see, / And loathed paddocks lording on the same.
  2. (transitive) To invest with the dignity, power, and privileges of a lord; to grant the title of lord.
Synonyms Translations
  • (RP) IPA: /lɔːd/
  • (America) IPA: /lɔɹd/
Proper noun
  1. The Abrahamic deity of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths.
    • circa 1000 Ælfric, Homilies, II.562:
      Sy lof þam Hlaforde ðe leofað on ecnysse.
    • circa 1175 Lambeth Homilies, 71:
      Lauerd god we biddeð þus.
    • 1382, Wycliffe's Bible, 1 Kings xviii. 36:
      Lord God of Abraham, and of Ysaac, and of Yrael.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, The life and death of King Richard the Second, iii.ii.53:
      The breath of worldly men cannot depose,
      The deputy elected by the Lord.
    1. (Judaism, Islam) The God of Abraham and the Jewish scriptures.
    2. (Christianity) God the Father; the Godhead.
  2. (Christianity) Jesus Christ, God the Son.
    • ante 1175 Cotton Homilies, 243:
      Ure laford ihesu crist þe seið Sine me nichil potestis facere.
    • circa 1400 Lay Folks Mass, Bk. App. iii. 125:
      Þou art a sooþfaste leche, lord.
    • 1582, Douay–Rheims Bible, 1 Corinth. 12:3:
      Therfore I doe you to vnderſtand that no ſpeaking in the Spirit of God, ſaith anáthema to IESVS. And no man can ſay, Our Lord IESVS: but in the holy Ghoſt.
    • 1882, Alfred Tennyson, "In Memoriam W. G. Ward":
      How loyal in the following of thy Lord!
  3. (religion) Any other deity particularly important to a religion or a worshipper.
Translations Translations Interjection
  1. (originally an invocation) An interjection variously expressing astonishment, surprise, resignation.
    • circa 1384 John Wyclif, Selected Works, III.358:
      Lord! in tyme of Jesus Crist... were men not bounden to shryve hem þus.
    • circa 1400 Lanfranc of Milan, Practica (trans. as The Science of Chirgurie), 298:
      O lord, whi is it so greet difference betwix a cirurgian & a phisician.
    • circa 1595 William Shakespeare, The Comedie of Errors (1623), iii. i. 50:
      O Lord I must laugh.

lord (plural lords)

  1. A formal title of the lesser British nobility, used as a shortened form for a Lord of the Manor and Lord Proprietor.
  2. A generic title used in reference to any peer of the British nobility or any peer below the dignity of duke and (as a courtesy title) for the younger sons of dukes and marquesses (see usage note).
    • 1893, Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, i.1:
      How do you do, Lord Darlington?
  3. Similar formal and generic titles in other countries.
  4. An additional title added to denote the dignity of certain high officials, such as the "Lord Mayors" of major cities in the British Commonwealth
  5. The elected president of a festival.
  6. (Wicca) A high priest.
  7. Surname, originally a nickname for someone who either acted as if he were a lord or had worked in a lord's household.
Related terms Translations
Proper noun
  1. Typographical variant of Lord, particularly in English translations of the Bible.
    • 1610, English College of Douai, Douay–Rheims Bible (1635), Psalm 8:2
      O smallcaps Lord our Lord transterm יְהוָ֤ה אֲדֹנֵ֗ינוּattention he, how meruelous is thy name in the whole earth! Becauſe thy magnificnce is eleuated aboue the heaués.
    • 1611, King James Bible, Genesis 2:18
      And the LORD God transterm יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֔ים ſaith, It is not good that the man ſhould be alone: I will make him an helpe meet for him.
    • 1611, King James Bible, Genesis 4:9
      And the LORD transterm יְהוָה֙ ſaid vnto Cain, where is Abel thy brother: And hee ſaid, I know not: Am I my brothers keeper:
    • 1611, King James Bible, 1 Samuel 17:45
      Then ſaid Dauid to the Philiſtine, Thou commeſt to mee with a ſword, and with a ſpeare, and with a ſhield: but I come to thee in the Name of the LORD of hoſtes transterm יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאֹ֔ות, the God of the armies of Iſrael, whom thou haſt defied.

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