carl

noun
\ ˈkär(-ə)l How to pronounce carl (audio) \
variants: or carle

Definition of carl

1 : a man of the common people
2 chiefly dialectal : churl, boor

First Known Use of carl

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

History and Etymology for carl

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).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carl

Time Traveler for carl

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for carl

Cite this Entry

“Carl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carle. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on carl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carl

Comments on carl

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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