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a member of the lowest grade of nobility.

a feudal vassal holding his lands under a direct grant from the king.
a direct descendant of such a vassal or his equal in the nobility.
a member of the House of Lords.

an important financier or industrialist, especially one with great power in a particular area:
an oil baron.
a cut of mutton or lamb comprising the two loins, or saddle, and the hind legs.
[mee-shel] /miˈʃɛl/ (Show IPA), (Michel Boyron) 1653–1729, French actor.
Contemporary Examples

baron is a lifelong newspaperman, highly respected in the business.
New Washington Post Editor Faces ‘Tough Choices’ Howard Kurtz November 12, 2012

No doubt baron Fellowes of West Stafford looks just the part.
The Mastermind Behind the U.K.’s Smash William Underhill September 17, 2011

Instead, baron depicts herself as a young woman desperate for political access for its own sake.
Lisa Baron’s Salacious Memoir Michelle Goldberg June 12, 2011

Whenever a staffer needed help, baron, in a foreshadowing of later events, was the first to volunteer.
The Mystery Man of the Edwards Affair Bryan Curtis May 19, 2009

Many of them—from Denis Diderot and Lawrence Sterne to David Hume and Adam Smith—met in the Paris salon of baron Thierry Holbach.
This Week’s Hot Reads The Daily Beast December 21, 2010

Historical Examples

The only unexceptionable one is a foreign gentleman, baron Ton-hausen.
The Sylph, Volume I and II Georgiana Cavendish

“This may become a matter for the baron’s personal attention,” continued the steward.
Millennium Everett B. Cole

baron Conon must wait, therefore, perhaps until the present elderly duke is dead and the duchy falls under feeble heirs.
Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis

Joe glanced at the younger Haer to acknowledge the question but he spoke to the baron.
Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds

“That’s because you’re too careless or lazy to look out for yourself,” retorted the baron.
The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales Francis A. Durivage

a member of a specific rank of nobility, esp the lowest rank in the British Isles
(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
a powerful businessman or financier: a press baron
(English law) (formerly) the title held by judges of the Court of Exchequer
short for baron of beef

c.1200, from Old French baron (nominative ber) “baron, nobleman, military leader, warrior, virtuous man, lord, husband,” probably from or related to Late Latin baro “man,” of uncertain origin, perhaps from Frankish *baro “freeman, man;” merged in England with cognate Old English beorn “nobleman.”


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    Friedrich Heinrich Alexander [free-drikh hahyn-rikh ah-lek-sahn-duh r] /ˈfri drɪx ˈhaɪn rɪx ˌɑ lɛkˈsɑn dər/ (Show IPA), Baron von [fuh n] /fən/ (Show IPA), 1769–1859, German naturalist, writer, and statesman. his brother, (Karl) Wilhelm [kahrl vil-helm] /kɑrl ˈvɪl hɛlm/ (Show IPA), Baron von, 1767–1835, German philologist and diplomat. a town in NW Tennessee. a river in […]

  • Amherst

    Jeffrey, Baron, 1717–97, British field marshal: governor general of British North America 1760–63. a city in W Massachusetts. a town in N Ohio. a town in central Nova Scotia, in SE Canada. Contemporary Examples Amherst College, one of the most prestigious and selective colleges in the country, ended interviews almost 20 years ago. Do College […]

  • Gros

    Antoine Jean [ahn-twan zhahn] /ɑ̃ˈtwan ʒɑ̃/ (Show IPA), Baron, 1771–1835, French painter. Historical Examples The Gros airain, he declares to be the little bell of the palaces. A World of Wonders Various The Grosvenor (Gros veneur), great hunter, was a royal servant. The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley I will give you,’ he said, ‘twenty […]

  • Baron of beef

    a joint of beef consisting of the two sirloins joined at the backbone; double sirloin. Compare baron (def 4). noun a cut of beef consisting of a double sirloin joined at the backbone

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