\ˈər(-ə)l \

Definition of earl 

: a member of the British peerage ranking below a marquess and above a viscount

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Other Words from earl

earldom \ˈər(-ə)l-dəm \ noun

Examples of earl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The British hereditary title is directly below baron, with viscounts, earls, marquesses, and dukes above it. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "6 Things to Know About Jack Brooksbank's Family Ahead of His Wedding to Princess Eugenie," 26 June 2018 There’s nothing quite like a prince or duke — or earl — in uniform. Maura Hohman, PEOPLE.com, "Prince William Is Strikingly Handsome as His Alter Ego the Earl of Strathearn," 5 July 2018 Lord Dundonald, an impecunious earl with an inventive streak, patented the processing of smelting coke—a key development, converting coal to a nearly pure carbon state that produced an easy-to-work iron. Charles R. Morris, WSJ, "‘Energy’ Review: The Path to Power," 21 June 2018 Those standing are an array of earls, viscounts and even a duke. The Economist, "Peers fight for a place in the House of Lords," 21 June 2018 Baronet is a rank in the British aristocracy, albeit below dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Everything We Know About Jack Brooksbank's Family Ahead of the Royal Wedding," 12 June 2018 The castle-like tower, which had a nuclear bunker next to it during the Cold War, was built in 1798 as a folly project for the wife of an earl who wanted to know if a beacon light lit at the tower could be seen from her home 22 miles away. New York Times, "36 Hours in the Cotswolds," 17 May 2018 The Queen can choose from five titles for a man -- duke, marquess, earl, viscount or baron -- and for a woman -- duchess, marchioness, countess, viscountess and baroness. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Harry and Meghan's new titles," 19 May 2018 From cars to recycling to electricity-generating turbines to biofuels, the warehouse temporarily turned into a montage of earl-stage ideas. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Hyper-efficient gas engines, next-gen wind turbines, and more early-stage wonders," 18 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of earl

12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for earl

Middle English erl, from Old English eorl warrior, nobleman; akin to Old Norse jarl warrior, nobleman

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Time Traveler for earl

The first known use of earl was in the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of earl

: a high-ranking member of the British nobility


\ˈərl \

Kids Definition of earl

: a member of the British nobility who ranks below a marquess and above a viscount

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Comments on earl

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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