bar·​on | \ ˈber-ən How to pronounce baron (audio) , ˈba-rən \

Definition of baron

1a : one of a class of tenants holding his rights and title by military or other honorable service directly from a feudal superior (such as a king)
b : a lord of the realm : noble, peer
2a : a member of the lowest grade of the peerage in Great Britain
b : a nobleman on the continent of Europe of varying rank
c : a member of the lowest order of nobility in Japan
3 : a joint of meat consisting of two sirloins or loins and legs not cut apart at the backbone a baron of beef
4 : a man who possesses great power or influence in some field of activity a cattle baron

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of baron in a Sentence

a media baron who owns newspapers, television and radio stations, and even several cable networks
Recent Examples on the Web The Neoclassical-style mansion near Mount Tabor in southeast Portland was known as the Jacob H. Cook mansion after a lumber baron bought the property in 1904. oregonlive, "Showstopper Mount Tabor mansion, once vandalize, is now for sale at $2.5 million," 13 July 2020 The first Games were the brainchild of a French baron, Pierre de Coubertin, who conceived the Olympics as an insider’s club for privileged men. Bill Donahue, Washington Post, "For the Olympics, poor communities in host cities are regularly displaced. For the Rio 2016 games, one village’s resistance sparked a global question: Should they be abolished?," 6 July 2020 James Vernor, the inventor of Vernors ginger ale; David Whitney, a 19th Century lumber baron who built a mansion that is now a Detroit restaurant; and Hamilton Carhartt, the founder of his namesake clothing brand, also are buried there. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Dearborn mosque: Woodmere Cemetery shutting out Muslims from graves they already purchased," 3 July 2020 At the time, Bolivians saw him as an exploitative mining baron. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "Q&A with Jennifer Steil, author of ‘Exile Music’," 18 June 2020 Don’t miss the chance to stroll around the charming, historic downtown, either, founded in the 1840s by an expat Prussian baron, and stay at the Hoffmann Haus, a German-inflected B&B. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Weekend Getaway Ideas in the U.S.," 18 June 2020 Rajiv Shah is president of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest philanthropies, founded by oil baron John D. Rockefeller in 1913. Scott Thurm, Wired, "A Foundation Built on Oil Embraces the Green Revolution," 2 Feb. 2020 Between forty and fifty Scottish barons and freeholders added their seals as signature, but the sentiment, if not the exact wording, is widely believed to have come from Bruce’s office. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "The Ghost of Robert the Bruce and the Scottish Independence Movement," 16 Mar. 2020 When El Salvador erupted for a second time half a century later, the coffee barons were under siege again; James Hill’s grandson, Jaime Hill, was kidnapped by rebels and held for a multimillion-dollar ransom, which the family had no trouble paying. Michael Pollan, The Atlantic, "Capitalism’s Favorite Drug," 6 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of baron

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for baron

Middle English, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German baro freeman

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about baron

Time Traveler for baron

Time Traveler

The first known use of baron was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for baron

Last Updated

25 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Baron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for baron


How to pronounce baron (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of baron

: a man who is a member of a low rank of British nobility
: a man who is a member of various ranks of nobility in other countries
: a man who has a lot of power or influence in a particular industry


bar·​on | \ ˈber-ən How to pronounce baron (audio) \

Kids Definition of baron

: a man who is a member of the lowest rank of British nobility

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on baron

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for baron

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with baron

Spanish Central: Translation of baron

Nglish: Translation of baron for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about baron

Comments on baron

What made you want to look up baron? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!