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/carl. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!