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over +‎ lord


overlord (plural overlords)

  1. A ruler of other rulers.
    The various tribal chieftains met each spring to elect an overlord that would lead them in time of war.
  2. Anyone with overarching power or authority in a given domain.
    The crusty old professor was overlord of the history department, and few dared to cross his will.
    • 2009, Charles Stross, The Jennifer Morgue, page 239:
      Fluffy is wearing a diamond collar that belongs in the Tower of London with a platoon of Beefeaters standing guard over it. "I for one welcome our new feline overlords."

Usage notes[edit]

  • The second sense frequently carries negative connotations; calling one an overlord can imply tyranny or authoritarianism.

Related terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]