baron

(redirected from Barons)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to Barons: Robber barons

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
'One night, after a day's sport in which he had outdone Nimrod or Gillingwater, and slaughtered "another fine bear," and brought him home in triumph, the Baron Von Koeldwethout sat moodily at the head of his table, eyeing the smoky roof of the hall with a discontended aspect.
'"I will!" cried the baron suddenly, smiting the table with his right hand, and twirling his moustache with his left.
He rides to where the barges lie in readiness, and the great Barons step forth from their ranks to meet him.
"But," he continued, "this outlaw devil will come to the end of a short halter when once our civil strife is settled, for the barons themselves have decided upon an expedition against him, if the King will not subdue him."
"Dinner ready yet?" the Baron enquired, as he hurried into the room.
"Hein!" ejaculated--or, rather, growled--the Baron as he turned towards me in angry surprise.
"To the residence of Baron Danglars, Rue de la Chaussee d'Antin." This conversation had passed as they stood upon the terrace, from which a flight of stone steps led to the carriage-drive.
You already, my dear Baron, know, I think, whither they lead.
Baron Rivar, again, in his way was another conventional representative of another well-known type.
The assistants, taking their directions more from the Baron's eye and his hand than his tongue, once more stepped forward, laid hands on the unfortunate Isaac, plucked him up from the ground, and, holding him between them, waited the hard-hearted Baron's farther signal.
Monsieur Pailleton had been a little taken aback by the visit of the Baron. He sat now like a man temporarily stupefied.
"Is he not your friend?" replied the baron, negligently.