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[bar-uh n] /ˈbær ən/
a member of the lowest grade of nobility.
  1. a feudal vassal holding his lands under a direct grant from the king.
  2. a direct descendant of such a vassal or his equal in the nobility.
  3. 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.
Compare baron of beef.
Origin of baron
1200-50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Late Latin barōn- (stemof barō) man < Germanic; sense “cut of beef” perhaps by analogy with the fanciful analysis of sirloin as “Sir Loin”
Can be confused
barren, baron, baronet.


[ba-rawn] /baˈrɔ̃/
[mee-shel] /miˈʃɛl/ (Show IPA),
(Michel Boyron) 1653–1729, French actor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for baron
Contemporary Examples
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.

British Dictionary definitions for baron


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
Word Origin
C12: from Old French, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German baro freeman, Old Norse berjask to fight
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for baron

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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