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A military commander exercising civil power in a region, whether in nominal allegiance to the national government or in defiance of it.

war′lord′ism n.


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a military leader of a nation or part of a nation, esp one who is accountable to nobody when the central government is weak: the Chinese warlords.



1. a military commander, esp. of a warlike nation.
2. (esp. formerly in China) a military commander who has seized control of a region in a country.
war′lord`ism, n.


A military commander wielding civil power. Sometimes in nominal allegiance to the king or emperor, usually defying such control.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.warlord - supreme military leader exercising civil power in a region especially one accountable to nobody when the central government is weakwarlord - supreme military leader exercising civil power in a region especially one accountable to nobody when the central government is weak
military leader - a leader of military forces


noun military leader, general a dictator and warlord who had oppressed his people
قائِد عَسْكَري قوي جدا
vojenský diktátor
askerî önder


[ˈwɔːlɔːd] Ncaudillo m


(woː) noun
(an) armed struggle, especially between nations. Their leader has declared war on Britain; The larger army will win the war; the horrors of war; (also adjective) He is guilty of war crimes.
verbpast tense, past participle warred
to fight. The two countries have been warring constantly for generations.
ˈwarlike adjective
(negative unwarlike) fond of, or likely to begin, war. a warlike nation.
ˈwarrior (ˈwo-) noun
a soldier or skilled fighting man, especially in primitive societies. The chief of the tribe called his warriors together; (also adjective) a warrior prince.
war correspondent
a newspaper reporter who writes articles on a war especially from the scene of fighting.
ˈwar-cryplural ˈwar-cries noun
a shout used in battle as an encouragement to the soldiers. `For king and country' was the war-cry of the troops as they faced the enemy.
ˈwar-dance noun
a dance performed by the people of some primitive societies before going to war.
ˈwarfare noun
fighting, as in a war. He refused to fight, because he has religious objections to warfare.
ˈwarhead noun
the explosive section of a missile, torpedo etc. nuclear warheads.
ˈwarhorse noun
a horse used in battle.
ˈwarlord noun
a very powerful military leader.
ˈwarmonger noun
a person who encourages war(s), often for personal reasons.
ˈwarpaint noun
paint applied to the face etc by the people of some primitive societies before going into battle.
ˈwarship noun
a ship used in war or defence.
ˈwartime noun
the time during which a country, a people etc is at war. There is a great deal of hardship and misery in wartime; (also adjective) a wartime economy.
war of nerves
a war, contest etc in which each side tries to win by making the other nervous, eg by bluff, rather than by actually fighting. That game of chess was a war of nerves.
References in classic literature ?
No longer may John Carter be Prince of Helium"--he paused--"but instead let him be Jeddak of Jeddaks, Warlord of Barsoom
He bowed his acknowledgment of the compliment to his father, John Carter, Warlord of Mars.
How do you explain it, John Carter, Warlord of Mars, or do you try to explain it?
I said that I would and so he told it to me, and now I shall try to re-tell it for you as nearly in the words of The Warlord of Mars as I can recall them, but in the third person.
11, Dostum was routinely described as a ``brutal warlord'' before his battles against the Taliban made him an American hero - only Pelton, in his book, described him as a ``roly-poly warlord.
An outbreak of warlord fighting over recent weeks has also underlined the need for a broad-based national force.
The fighting pitted troops loyal to Bacha Khan, a local warlord aligned to Afghanistan's interim administration, against fighters from the town's governing council, or shura.
He witnessed the intervention to feed the starving and the disastrous pursuit of the warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid.
I've previously warned about supposed film production company Warlord Productions Ltd, which raised PS6million from the public to invest in a new version of Shakespeare's Henry V.
In the bleak postapocalyptic future, cynical survivor Max must team up with a tough yet compassionate woman to try to save the five beautiful wives of a vicious warlord.
Captured by barking mad warlord Immortan Joe, his only way of escape from a rather nasty band of pallid, diseased warriors is to align himself with beautiful but supremely tough Imperator Furiosa (a wonderful Theron).