variants or carle
: a man of the common people
chiefly dialectal : churl, boor

Word History


Middle English, borrowed from Old Norse karl "man, commoner" — more at churl

Note: Old Norse karl is already reflected in the late Old English compounds hūscarl "member of a king's bodyguard" (Old Norse húskarl), carlmann "male, man" (Old Norse karlmaðr).

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carl was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near carl

Cite this Entry

“Carl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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