1. A man of high rank in a feudal society or in one that retains feudal forms and institutions, especially:
a. A king.
b. A territorial magnate.
c. The proprietor of a manor.
2. Lords The House of Lords.
3. Abbr. Ld. Chiefly British The general masculine title of nobility and other rank:
a. Used as a form of address for a marquis, an earl, or a viscount.
b. Used as the usual style for a baron.
c. Used as a courtesy title for a younger son of a duke or marquis.
d. Used as a title for certain high officials and dignitaries: Lord Chamberlain; the Lord Mayor of London.
e. Used as a title for a bishop.
b. Christianity Jesus.
a. A man of renowned power or authority.
b. A man who has mastery in a given field or activity.
c. Archaic The male head of a household.
d. Archaic A husband.
v. lord·ed, lord·ing, lords
To insist upon or boast about so as to act in a domineering or superior manner: "He had lorded over her his self-proclaimed spiritual and poetic superiority" (David Leavitt).
1. To act in a domineering or superior manner: an upperclassman lording over the younger students.
2. To have a prominent or dominating position: The castle lords over the valley.
3. To rule over: lorded over a vast empire.
lord it over
To act in a domineering or superior manner toward: "She's lorded it over me all our adult lives because she went to college" (Jane Stevenson).
[Middle English, from Old English hlāford : hlāf, loaf; see LOAF + weard, guardian; see wer-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.