majordomo

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Italian maggiordomo and Spanish mayordomo, from Late Latin maior domus (steward), from Latin māior (main, principal) + genitive singular of domus (household).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌmeɪ.dʒəˈdəʊ.məʊ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌmeɪ.dʒɚˈdoʊ.moʊ/

Noun[edit]

majordomo (plural majordomos)

  1. The head servant or official in a royal Spanish or Italian household; later, any head servant in a wealthy household in a foreign country; a leading servant or butler.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 22, The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      Pancho, the major-domo, came up to say that Colonel Morales was waiting below. Appleby bade him bring out cigars and wine, and rose from his seat when Morales came in.
    • 2002, Marta VanLandingham, chapter 7, Transforming the State: King, Court and Political Culture in the Realms of Aragon (1213-1387), ISBN 9004127437, page 164:
      In return for ruling over the king's palace, serving as the monarch's alter ego in the domestic sphere, and bearing the burden of accountability, the majordomo was compensated amply.
  2. (US, Southwest) A manager of a hacienda, ranch or estate.
    • 2006, Gray A. Brechin, chapter 5, Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, ISBN 0520250087, page 212:
      She called upon a Missouri cousin named Edward Hardy Clark, who became the indispensable majordomo of the Hearst estate.
  3. (chiefly US) Any overseer, organizer, person in command.
    • 2009, The Economic Times, 7 Jun 2009:
      The United Nation's climate majordomo -- tasked with herding 192 nations toward a do-or-die deal by year's end -- does not have the power to impose an agreement on how to curb greenhouse gases and cope with its consequences.

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