From Middle English lord and lorde (attested from the 15th century), from earlier (14th century) lourde and other variants which dropped the intervocalic vowel of earlier lowerd, louerd, loverd, laford, and lhoaverd; from Old English hlāford and hlāfweard, a compound of hlāf (“bread, loaf”) + weard (“ward, guardian, keeper”); see loaf and ward. The compound exists in Icelandic as lávarður, related to the Old English hlāf-ǣta (“servant”, literally “bread-eater”); it was already being applied broadly prior to the literary development of Old English and was influenced by its common use to translate Latin dominus. Compare Scots laird (“lord”), preserving a separate vowel development, and modern English lady, from Old English hlǣfdīġe (“bread-kneader”).
lord (plural lords)
- (obsolete) The master of the servants of a household; (historical) the master of a feudal manor
- c. 950, Lindisfarne Gospels, Matt. xxiv. 46
- Eadig ðe ðegn ðone miððy cymes hlaferd his on-fand sua doende.
- 1611, King James Bible, Matt. xxiv. 46
- Bleſſed is that ſeruant, whome his Lord when he commeth, ſhal finde ſo doing.
- 1600, William Shakespeare, The moſt excellent Hiſtorie of the Merchant of Venice, iii. ii. 167 ff.
- Por. ...But now, I was the Lord
- of this faire manſion, maiſter of my ſeruants,
- Queene oer my ſelfe...
- 1794, E. Christian in William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, II. 418
- Lords of manors are distinguished from other land-owners with regard to the game.
- (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), v. ii. 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, Gen. xviii. 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.
- (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’.
- 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.
- (historical) A feudal tenant holding his manor directly of the king
- 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, iv.i.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.
- (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.
- 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.
- The magnates of a trade or profession
- 1823, W. Cobbett, Rural Rides (1885), I. 399
- Oh, Oh! The cotton Lords are tearing!
- (astrology) The heavenly body considered to possess a dominant influence over an event, time, etc.
- c. 1391, Geoffrey Chaucer, Treatise on the Astrolabe, ii. §4:
- The assendent, & eke the lord of the assendent, may be shapen for to be fortunat or infortunat, as thus, a fortunat assendent clepen they whan þat no wykkid planete, as Saturne or Mars, or elles the tail of the dragoun, is in þe hows of the assendent.
- (Britain, 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.
- (Britain, Australia, 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.
master of a household
- Khmer: ម្ចាស់ (km) (mchah), ប្ដី (km) (bdey)
- Latin: dominus (la) m
- Macedonian: сто́пан m (stópan), го́сподар m (góspodar)
- Old English: hlaford m, hlafweard m, drihten m
- Persian: کدخدا (fa) (kadxodâ), کدیور (fa) (kadivar)
- Portuguese: castelão (pt)
- Russian: хозя́ин (ru) m (xozjáin)
- Scottish Gaelic: tighearna (gd) m
- Spanish: castellano (es)
- Swedish: herre (sv) n
- Tagalog: poon
- Turkish: efendi (tr), reis (tr), baş (tr), erk (tr), bey (tr)
- Zazaki: lord, ser, serek
ruler, one having mastery over others
- Afrikaans: owerste
- Arabic: رَبّ m (rabb)
- Breton: aotrou (br)
- Catalan: senyor (ca) m
- Czech: pán (cs) m
- Dutch: overste (nl) m, f
- Finnish: johtaja (fi), hallitsija (fi), valtias (fi)
- Galician: señor m
- Gothic: 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌿𐌾𐌰 m (frauja)
- Greek: άρχοντας (el) m (árchontas), αφέντης (el) m (aféntis), δεσπότης (el) m (despótis)
- Ancient: ἄναξ m (ánax), δεσπότης m (despótēs), κοίρανος m (koíranos), μεδέων m (medéōn), πρύτανις (prútanis), κύριος m (kúrios)
- Hungarian: úr (hu)
- Afrikaans: heer
- Hebrew: מרא m (mārā’)
- Syriac: ܡܪܐ m (mārā’)
- Belarusian: пан m (pan)
- Czech: pán (cs) m, aristokrat m
- Danish: lensherre c, hersker (da) c, lord (da)
- Dutch: landheer (nl) m
- Finnish: aristokraatti (fi), ylhäisyys (fi), lordi (fi)
- French: seigneur (fr) m, monsieur (fr) m
- German: Herr (de) m
- Greek: δεσπότης (el) m (despótis), λόρδος (el) m (lórdos), άρχοντας (el) m (árchontas), ευγενής (el) m (evgenís)
- Ancient: ἄναξ m (ánax), πρύτανις (prútanis)
- Icelandic: lávarður (is) m
- Irish: tiarna (ga) m
- Italian: signore (it) m
- Latin: dominus (la) m
- Macedonian: го́сподар m (góspodar), лорд m (lord), вла́стелин m (vlástelin), ве́лможа m (vélmoža)
- Maori: rōre
- Nahuatl: tecutli
- Old English: dryhten m, guma m, frea m, hlaford m
- Old French: seignor
- Portuguese: senhor (pt) m, lorde (pt) m
- Russian: лорд (ru) m (lord), вельмо́жа (ru) m (velʹmóža)
- Scottish Gaelic: tighearna (gd) m
- Lower Sorbian: kněz m
- Turkish: beyefendi (tr), toyun
- Welsh: arglwydd (cy) m
- Yiddish: לאָרד m (lord), אָדון m (odn), שׂררה m (srore)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
lord (third-person singular simple present lords, present participle lording, simple past and past participle lorded)
- (intransitive and transitive) Domineer or act like a lord.
- (transitive) To invest with the dignity, power, and privileges of a lord; to grant the title of lord.
c. 1610–1611, Shakespeare, William, The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2:
- He being thus lorded / Not only with what my revenue yielded, / But what my power might else exact, […] / he did believe / He was indeed the Duke
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "lord, n.". Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1903.