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
Rockefellers knocked elbows with Vanderbilts and Whitneys; dukes bumped up against earls and barons.
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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