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From lord +‎ -ship.



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. (hence, with his or your) Title applied to a lord (except an archbishop or duke, who is called Grace) or a formal form of address applied to a judge (in Great Britain), etc.
    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. Seigniory; domain; the territory over which a lord holds jurisdiction; a manor.
    • ca. 1690, John Dryden (translator), Juvenal (author), 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.
  4. Dominion; power; authority.
    • But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for lordship in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

See also[edit]