overling

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From over +‎ -ling on analogy with underling, or as a revived or dialectal term from Middle English overling (a superior), equivalent to over +‎ -ling.

Noun[edit]

overling (plural overlings)

  1. (rare) A superior.
    • 1917, Rudyard Kipling, Mesopotamia (poem)
      But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died, [...]
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
      Reflex laughs from the underlings present, though only grim smiles from the overlings.
  2. (UK dialectal) A ruler; master.

Antonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • Oxford English Dictionary