robber baron
noun Date: 1878 1. an American capitalist of the latter part of the 19th century who became wealthy through exploitation (as of natural resources, governmental influence, or low wage scales) 2. a business owner or executive who acquires wealth through ethically questionable tactics

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • robber baron — robber barons N COUNT If you refer to someone as a robber baron, you mean that they have made a very large amount of money and have been prepared to act illegally or in an immoral way in order to do so. ...the vast wealth accumulated by America s …   English dictionary

  • robber baron — n a powerful person who uses their money and influence to get more money, business, land etc in a way that is slightly dishonest …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • robber baron — n. 1. a nobleman of feudal times who robbed people traveling through his domain ☆ 2. any of a number of U.S. capitalists of the late 19th cent. who acquired vast wealth by exploitation and ruthlessness …   English World dictionary

  • Robber baron — The term robber baron ( de. Raubritter) dates back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, originally referring to certain feudal lords of land through which the Rhine River in Europe flowed. They abused their positions by stopping passing… …   Wikipedia

  • robber baron — noun 1. : a medieval lord subsisting by robbing, holding for ransom, or exorbitantly taxing travelers through his domain 2. : an American capitalist of the latter part of the 19th century grown wealthy through exploitation of natural resources,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • robber baron — noun a) In Europe, an aristocrat who charged exorbitant fees or otherwise exacted money from people who journeyed across land or waterways which he controlled. Men who made it a custom to travel the trail to Dawson, likened him to a robber baron …   Wiktionary

  • robber baron — 1. Hist. 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… …   Universalium

  • robber baron — noun a ruthless and powerful businessman …   English new terms dictionary

  • robber baron — noun (C) a powerful man who used force to get money, land etc, for example a businessman in US in the 19th century who made a lot of money in a dishonest way …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • robber baron — rob′ber bar on n. 1) why a U.S. capitalist of the late 19th century who became wealthy by ruthless and unethical means 2) why a feudal noble who robbed travelers passing through his lands • Etymology: 1875–80 …   From formal English to slang

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