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[mahr-greyv] /ˈmɑr greɪv/
(formerly) the hereditary title of the rulers of certain European states.
History/Historical. a hereditary German title, equivalent to marquis.
(originally) a military governor of a German mark, or border province.
Origin of margrave
1545-55; earlier marcgrave < Middle Dutch, equivalent to marke border (cognate with march2) + grave count (cognate with reeve1); compare German Markgraf
Related forms
margravial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for margrave
Historical Examples
  • margrave was puffing solemnly at his cigar, and changed the subject.

    The Main Chance Meredith Nicholson
  • "The two are together," said the margrave, clutching his friend's shoulder.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • I felt as if I had realized margrave's idle dreams,—as if youth could never fade, love could never grow cold.

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "'Tis clear as the staff of a pike," said the poor margrave, mournfully.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Lots were drawn for the "gate of honor," and gained by the margrave, who accordingly defended it with his band.

  • The margrave of Rudesheimer was a slender man of elegant appearance.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • "The meeting was held regular, at the hour and place advertised," said margrave with dignity.

    The Main Chance Meredith Nicholson
  • She had gone to Bayreuth, where she had been the margrave's mistress.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • The young light-hearted man, known in this place under the name of margrave?

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • His hand encountered the strange touch of the margrave's card.

British Dictionary definitions for margrave


a German nobleman ranking above a count. Margraves were originally counts appointed to govern frontier provinces, but all had become princes of the Holy Roman Empire by the 12th century
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Dutch markgrave, literally: count of the march²
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 margrave

military governor of a German border province, 1550s, from Middle Dutch markgrave (Dutch markgraaf), literally "count of the border," from Old High German marcgravo; second element from graf "count, earl" (Old High German gravo, gravjo), from West Germanic *grafa "a designation of rank, possibly borrowed from Greek grapheus "scribe." For first element see mark (n.1). Later a hereditary title under the Holy Roman Empire. His wife was a margravine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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