OE: hláfweard, hláford
ME: laford, laverd → lorde, lord
hláf (meaning "bread", "loaf") + weard (meaning "keeper", "ward")
14. ct- dropping of the intervocalic v + contraction of vowels → monosyllabic word lord
"the head of the household" in his relation to the servants and dependents who 'eat his bread'.
This can be compared with OE hláf-ǽta (literary meaning "bread-eater", "servant").
The word was later adopted as the customary rendering of Latin dominus (meaning "master").
In early use- the word applied for any man of exalted position in a kingdom.
In modern use- the word used as equivalent to "nobleman".
In current use- "a peer", or for a person entitled to the prefix Lord by courtesy.
In 14. ct- "an owner, possessor, proprietor" (now poetical, PDE landlord is preferred)
In Lindisfarne Gospel (950 AD)- "a master of servants" (now obsolete)
In Anglo-Saxon Chronicle- specific use "a feudal superior".