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1. (in the British Isles) a nobleman ranking below a marquess and above a viscount
2. (in Anglo-Saxon England) a royal governor of any of the large divisions of the kingdom, such as Wessex



in early medieval England, a member of the hereditary nobility, as distinguished from an ordinary freeman, or ceorl. The average size of an earl’s holding was 40 hides. As Anglo-Saxon society became feudalized, the earls, in the late seventh century, became part of the general landed aristocracy required to render state service, the thanes. Since the 11th century the term “earl” has designated a noble rank corresponding to that of count.

References in periodicals archive ?
Even though I wasn't going to shoot him, I wanted to see the buck real bad," Earl recalls.
Earl is recovering from a traumatic brain injury and other health issues that included temporary paralysis of his back legs and possible vision problems, according to city Animal Services Manager Molly Monette.
You cleaned a lot," Earl says, a year after his return.
Mr Moore, a barristers' clerk, alleged the Earl had used "vulgar" language towards him before spitting at him three times and finally throwing a handful of debris - containing gravel, leaves and dirt - through an open window of his Land Rover.
A spokesman for Earl Spencer said: "Earl and Countess Spencer are delighted to be expecting their first child in July.
One bookmaker has slashed the odds of the couple tying the knot to just 5/1 - and installed Earl George as firm favourite to wed Pippa, famed for the dress she wore at the Royal Wedding.
These include the 58-foot-long state dining room, originally created in 1820 by the 12th Earl of Derby to celebrate a visit by George IV.
Shot in 1949 and released in 1950, the diamond robbery film Pool of London featured former dishwashSer turned stage actor Earl pla ying a seaman called Johnny Lambert.
Getting to know Earl and his work in depth has been enlightening and captivating.
Hurricane Earl strengthened into a major storm as it lashed the northeast Caribbean islands on a track that could swipe the US East Coast.