Middle English Dictionary Entry

lōrd n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The master of servants or slaves; the head of a household; the lord of a castle; also fig.; lordes chaumbre, the master apartment in a castle; hous ~ [see hous 7. (d)]; (b) an owner of property or things; the master of a horse, dog, hawk, etc.; (c) the host or proprietor of an inn; (d) an employer; a client in a lawsuit; (e) a teacher.
(a) A king, emperor, ruler; also, the son of a king, prince; also fig.; ~ king; ~ and governour (sire); lege (sire, soverain) ~; lordes man, an emperor's subject; (b) a king as a feudal lord to whom the subjects owe allegiance; (c) in the titles of sovereigns; (d) the leader of a tribe, people, or band of devils; (e) the chief administrator of a country, governor; also fig.; (f) in proverb.
(a) A feudal lord; ~ of the fe; lordes rente, feudal rent; (b) in one of the titles in the style of the English king: ~ of (on) ir-lond.
(a) A person of high rank or social position; a nobleman; ?also, the son of a nobleman; ~ and ladie; ~ and page, the high and the lowly people, all and every; (b) a noble warrior, knight; (c) a leader of a group of knights; a military leader or commander.
Specif. an English nobleman: (a) a peer in the House of Lords; a nobleman who is a member of the Privy Council; lordes spiritual (temporal), the bishops and mitred abbots (the lay peers) in this body; ~ appellaunt, one of the English peers who charged others with high treason under Richard II; (b) an appellation for a nobleman of the rank of duke, marquis, earl, or knight; mi ~; (c) one who presides at a judicial session; a judge in civil or ecclesiastical courts; ~ juge; (d) in official titles: ~ chaunceler, the Lord Chancellor of England; ~ marcher(e, an English nobleman holding land in the Welsh Marches.
(a) An appellation for saints; also in oaths; (b) an appellation for the pope; (c) in titles of, or as terms of address for, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, etc.; ~ abbot (bishop, cardinal, etc.); mi ~ of canterburi (london, etc.); (d) a term of respect for a monk; mi ~.
(a) God; the Trinity; the God of the Old Testament; of oure lordes grace, by the help of God; under oure ~, in the world; (b) ~ drihten, ~ god (almighti(n, ~ mighti, ~ almighti god; ~ of heven (al, might, pes); almightin (god, heigh, heighest, heven, hevenli, livinge, mighti) ~; alre lorde(n ~, ~ of kinges (lordes, lordinges), ~ over lordes; etc.; (c) Christ; the Christ child; (d) ~ crist (god, jesu), ~ jesu crist, ~ crist god; ~ of heven (lif); almighti (blessed, dere-worthe, glorious, hevenli, holi, livinge, milceful, swete) ~; ~ of (over) lordes, ~ over al; alre mightene ~; etc.; (e) bodi of oure ~ (iesu crist, the Communion bread; lordes bord [see bord 5. (a)]; lordes dai, Sunday; lordes soper, the Holy Communion; (f) after oure lordes birth time [cp. birth(e 7. (e)], the yere of oure ~ (god, jesu crist, the year of our Lord, A.D.; the yere of the incarnacioun of oure ~ [see incarnacioun 1. (b)].
In pious ejaculations and expressions of submission to God's authority, trust in God's power, etc.: (a) blessed be the name of oure ~; thanked be oure ~, thankinge to oure ~ god, thank God; (b) oure ~ foryelde, oure ~ mot yelden, may our Lord reward (you); oure ~ helpe, may God help (sb.); mi ~ god shal kepen, God keep (you); our ~ oure lives save, God save us; ~ grace sende, God help (sb.); oure ~ yeve joi, may the Lord give (sb.) joy; (c) ~ forbede, God forbid; (d) if oure ~ wil, if the ~ shal willen, if it were thi lordes wil, if it be God's wish, if God wish; as oure ~ wolde, as God would have it; (e) oure ~ me lete ibiden the dai, may God let me live to see the day (that I can do sth.).
(a) In not so pious interjections or exclamations: ~ crist (god); ha (o) ~; (b) in oaths, asseverations, invocations: bi that ~ that for us bledde (that made me), etc.; for the lordes love of heven, for love that ye oue to the ~, in oure lordes love; so me helpe the ~, so help me God!
(a) A deity, divine being; (b) a pagan god; a minor pagan deity; ~ of lordes, Jupiter, god or planet.
?A creator; one who composes songs; lifes ~, Christ [see lif 1a. (d)].
(a) A husband; also fig. Christ as the spiritual spouse of a pious woman; (b) as a woman's term of endearment for her lover or husband; (c) ?a father.
(a) One who is superior to or has dominance over another; one who has control or mastery (of sth.); also, an animal that holds sway over others; also fig.; ~ and sire; ~ of (al) the world, Man; being ~, of pathological qualities: having dominance, being dominant; (b) an authority in a field of knowledge; ~ phisicien (of phisik), a physician, doctor; (c) a patron, protector; god ~, good protector [cp. god adj. 1. (e)].
(a) That which is principal, preeminent, or most excellent of its kind; -- said of the sun, a ruby, etc.; (b) astrol. a planet in the sign where it is most powerful; (c) ~ flok, the leading priestly family among the New Testament Hebrews.
As a term of polite, respectful, or gracious address: sir; pl. gentlemen: (a) used by a person of lower social status for his superior; (b) used by poets or storytellers to readers or an audience; -- usually pl.; (c) used by a superior or among equals.
(a) In surnames; (b) in place names [see Smith PNElem. 1.248].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1450(c1410) Lovel.Merlin (Corp-C 80)6336 : To hire lord & souerayn seide sche than, [etc.].
  • Note: New sense
    Note: We do not appear to have a sense for lord =husband or phr. ~ and soverain--per MJW
    Note: ?sense 10
  • c1450 Wimbledon Serm.(Hat 57)20/2 : But a lorld god, what a siknesse is þis and a heuy borþin vpon þe sonys of adam þat on þe foule muk and fen of þe world we moune þenk.
  • Note: New spelling
  • ?c1450(a1388) Wallingford Exafrenon (Dgb 67)187 : Greet errours may fall aboute the takynge of the lorde of the yere and of the moneth.
  • ?c1450(a1388) Wallingford Exafrenon (Dgb 67)231 : Yf there be in the hows ascendant moo planetis than on, louke which of theme has moste dignyteis, fore he shal be lord before all othere…yf there bee moo planetis, he that has moste digniteis shal be lorde of the yere.
  • ?c1450(a1388) Wallingford Exafrenon (Dgb 67)233 : Whan Saturne is lorde of the yere principaly, if no planete lett hym with an evil aspecte…he sal mak so colde a wynter in the northe cowntree that sal kill up well nythe all the bestis of the lande…Mars, whan he is lorde of the yere…the wynter til them of the north he temperis and the somere to them in the sowthe he makis owre hote…Jupiter, when he is lorde of the yere…The elementis he disposis unto genderynge of thyngis.
  • ?c1450(a1388) Wallingford Exafrenon (Dgb 67)235 : Yf thu wilt have the lord of the monethe, louke wele the minute of the houre when the Sonne entreis in til the firste minute of the signe of the monethe that thee wilt wirk fore…and take that planete to be principale governore of that monthe…Also the lorde of the howre is the planet that fallis in the howre of that day aftir the namynge of the day, and the ordre of the planeties, as the Sonne in the firste houre on the Sonneday…Venus the 2, Mercurye in the 3, the Mone in the 4, Saturne in the 5, Jupiter in the 6, Mars in the 7, et cetera.
  • Note: Astrol. We don't have the phrases: lord of the yere, lord of the moneth, lorde of the hour.--per MJW
    Note: Astrol. dominant planet.--per MJW