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 ?
The four-and- twenty Lincoln greens of Von Koeldwethout exchanged vows of eternal friendship with twelve Lincoln greens of Von Swillenhausen, and promised the old baron that they would drink his wine "Till all was blue"--meaning probably until their whole countenances had acquired the same tint as their noses.
The houses of Koeldwethout and Swillenhausen were united; the spears rusted; and the baron's bugle grew hoarse for lack of blowing.
"A beetle on your arm!" cried my Lady, pinching the poor Baron's arm worse than if ten lobsters had seized it at once.
"I had always fancied," the Baron faltered, "that cod were salt-water fish?"
But the Baron and Baroness are members of an older generation, as well as Prussian Junkers and landowners.
To justify yourself in the eyes of the Baron and Baroness will be impossible.
"So much so," replied Monte Cristo, "that while you call yourself baron you are not willing to call anybody else count."
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!
"Here under this roof," the Baron continued, "is sanctuary, but in the streets and squares beyond, it seems to me--and I have thought this over many times,--it seems to me that even the person of the great Prince, cousin of the Emperor, holy son of Japan, would not be safe."
"An' speaking of the Devil," said the Baron, "how think you he will side should the King eventually force war upon the barons?
They began with the Baron. 'Damned ill-looking rascal!' They went on with Montbarry.
"Do I look so?" asked the baron, rising and going a step backward.