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
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 periodicals archive ?
"On average, baronies come along about once or twice a year.