Definitions of earl

  1. a British peer ranking below a Marquess and above a Viscount Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  2. A nobleman of England ranking below a marquis, and above a viscount. The rank of an earl corresponds to that of a count (comte) in France, and graf in Germany. Hence the wife of an earl is still called countess. See Count. Webster Dictionary DB
  3. A British nobleman next in rank below a marquis. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  4. A British title of nobility, or a nobleman, the third in rank, being next below a marquis, and next above a viscount. The earl formerly had the government of a shire, and was called shireman. After the Conquest earls were called counts, and from them shires have taken the name of counties. Earl is now a mere title, unconnected with territorial jurisdiction, so much so that several earls have taken as their titles their own names with the prefix Earl, as Earl Grey, Earl Spencer, Earl Russel. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  5. Nobleman ranking next below a marquis. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  6. A member of the British nobility next above a viscount. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  7. A British nobleman, the third in rank, being next below a marquis, and next above a viscount. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  8. In Great Britain, a nobleman third in rank, being above a viscount and below a marquis. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

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Usage examples for earl

  1. The young Earl did not quite like it. – Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
  2. Accordingly the earl with about two hundred officers and gentlemen, left the army with that intention. – The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat