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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.
Contemporary Examples

Here he celebrates the heyday of Birmingham’s minor league team, the barons.
The Great Paul Hemphill Celebrates the Long Gone Birmingham Barons Paul Hemphill March 28, 2014

From that day on and for the next ten years Rickwood and the barons became the core of my life.
The Great Paul Hemphill Celebrates the Long Gone Birmingham Barons Paul Hemphill March 28, 2014

He was even a member of his own gang in high school—the barons.
10 Revelations About Robert Redford The Daily Beast May 7, 2011

Historical Examples

Twenty-one barons were appointed Lords Ordainers, to draw up ordinances for the government of the country.
A Student’s History of England, v. 1 (of 3) Samuel R. Gardiner.

But the barons would not consent, and wished that Tancred should be king.
History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy Niccolo Machiavelli

Great nobles, whether earls or not, also spoke of their tenants as “barons,” where lesser magnates spoke of their “men” (homines).
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 Various

So he assembled all his barons, and bade them choose themselves a king from among them.
The Red Romance Book Various

At last, far down among the barons, came one at whose sight Richard revived a little.
The Little Duke Charlotte M. Yonge

Also that after the meire be chosene he schulde be presented to the barons of the Escheker.
A Chronicle of London from 1089 to 1483 Anonymous

The warlike zeal of the English barons was stimulated by liberal grants of the forfeited estates of Bruce and his partisans.
The History of England T.F. Tout

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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