follow Dictionary.com

13 Essential Literary Terms

robber baron

noun
1.
History/Historical. a noble who robbed travelers passing through his lands.
2.
a ruthlessly powerful U.S. capitalist or industrialist of the late 19th century considered to have become wealthy by exploiting natural resources, corrupting legislators, or other unethical means.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for robber barons
  • We are living through a second gilded age with our own robber barons at the controls.
  • It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
  • Clearly these media conglomerates are the robber barons of our era.
  • One needn't look to the robber barons for the vicious face of capitalism.
  • They may originally start out being robber barons, but so did we.
  • robber barons, religious fundamentalism, and other forthcoming developments.
  • Some senior government leaders were robber barons before they donned state robes.
  • robber barons fought for control of his patents, and court battles over them fascinated the public.
  • Normally when things go pear-shaped, executives are cast as modern robber barons, from whom workers need protecting.
  • It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
robber barons in Culture

robber barons definition


A term applied to certain leading American businessmen of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller. The term suggests that they acquired their wealth by means more often foul than fair.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for robber baron

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for robber

10
12
Scrabble Words With Friends