baron

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baron

1. (in Europe from the Middle Ages) originally any tenant-in-chief of a king or other overlord, who held land from his superior by honourable service; a land-holding nobleman
2. a powerful businessman or financier
3. English law (formerly) the title held by judges of the Court of Exchequer

Baron

 

in Western Europe, a direct vassal of the king; later a noble title (feminine form, baroness). In Britain, where it is retained to this day, the title of baron is below the title of viscount, occupying the last place in the hierarchy of titles of the higher nobility. (In a broader sense the whole British higher nobility and the hereditary members of the House of Lords are barons.) In France and Germany this title was below the title of count. In the Russian Empire the title of baron was introduced by Peter I for the higher German nobility of the Baltic area.

References in classic literature ?
One fierce blow at the unsuspecting horseman at his side, one cry to his French troops, one desperate charge upon the unready lines before him, and these rebellious Barons might rue the day they dared to thwart his plans
Possibly the barons would depose Henry, and place a new king upon England's throne, and then De Vac would mock the Plantagenet to his face.
In the cloisters he had heard vague talk of the law--the mighty law which was higher than prelate or baron, yet no sign could he see of it.
The baron sharpened it again, and made another offer, when his hand was arrested by a loud screaming among the young barons and baronesses, who had a nursery in an upstairs tower with iron bars outside the window, to prevent their tumbling out into the moat.
cried Milady; and as if acted upon by a spring, she bounded toward the baron, who awaited her attack with his arms crossed, but nevertheless with one hand on the hilt of his sword.
Monsieur," said the baron to the duke, "all the servants of his majesty must approve of the latest intelligence which we have from the Island of Elba.
The Baron looked slightly offended, and the Vice-Warden discreetly changed the subject.
The Baron only scowled a little, and the Baroness swept straight on.
Well, then," after receiving a smile from the young man, "to- morrow morning I will send a petition to one of the most influential persons at the ministry of War,--a man who will refuse nothing to the daughter of the Baron di Piombo.
le Baron du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds," continued D'Artagnan.
But tell me," he added with studied carelessness as if it had only just occurred to him, though the question he was about to ask was the chief motive of his visit, "is it true that the Dowager Empress wants Baron Funke to be appointed first secretary at Vienna?
Side by side with His Excellency the Baron Hesho, the contrasts in feature and expression were so marked as to make it hard, indeed, to believe that these two men could belong to the same nation.