\ 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).

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

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Cite this Entry

“Carl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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