Definition of earl
: a member of the British peerage ranking below a marquess and above a viscount
earldomplay \ˈər(-ə)l-dəm\ noun
Recent Examples of earl from the Web
The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed, an annual orgy of car nuttiness draped onto an earl’s estate outside London, has come to a close.
The extensive support for Harold, the earl of Wessex and the most powerful man in the kingdom after the king, was a pragmatic response to the crisis.
Rockefellers knocked elbows with Vanderbilts and Whitneys; dukes bumped up against earls and barons.
But the fact that Benjamin Disraeli, the son of Sephardic Jews, could become prime minister, and an earl, no less, provided the basis for many generations in Europe to believe in Britain as an exceptional country.
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.
Origin and Etymology of earl
Middle English erl, from Old English eorl warrior, nobleman; akin to Old Norse jarl warrior, nobleman
First Known Use: 12th centurySee Words from the same year
EARL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of earl for English Language Learners
: a high-ranking member of the British nobility
EARL Defined for Kids
Definition of earl for Students
: a member of the British nobility who ranks below a marquess and above a viscount
Seen and Heard
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