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From Middle English lordshipe, laverdschipe, from Old English hlāfordsċiepe, equivalent to lord +‎ -ship. Cognate with Scots lairdschip.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlɔːd.ʃɪp/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈlɔɹd.ʃɪp/


lordship (countable and uncountable, plural lordships)

  1. The state or condition of being a lord.
    • 2004, Alice Sheppard, Families of the King: Writing Identity in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, page 27:
      For example, we know that Alfred did connect land tenure with lordship and that he was particularly interested in questions of military service []
    • 2011, Daniel Frankforter, Word of God - Words of Men: The Use and Abuse of Scripture, page 93:
      Lordship entails both privilege and responsibility. Lords have power over their subjects, but that power is granted them so that they can protect and provide for others.
  2. (by extension, with "his" or "your", often capitalised) Title applied to a lord, bishop, judge, or another man with a title.
    May I ask that the order be granted, if your lordship so pleases?
    • 1946, Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan:
      'He's had his bath,' she said. 'He's just had his bath, bless his little lordship's heart.'
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.
  3. (humorous, with "his" or "your") A boy or man who is behaving in a seigneurial manner or acting like a lord, behaving in a bossy manner or lording it up
  4. Seigniory; domain; the territory over which a lord holds jurisdiction; a manor.
    • c. 1690, Juvenal, translated by John Dryden, The Tenth Satire of Juvenal:
      What lands and lordships for their owner know / My quondam barber, but his worship now.
    • 1832, John Burke, A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire, volume I, page 425:
      [] for whose ransom he compelled Lord Percy to build the castle of Punnoon, in the lordship of Eaglesham.
  5. Dominion; power; authority.


See also[edit]