from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A rude, boorish person. See Synonyms at boor.
- n. A miserly person.
- n. A ceorl.
- n. A medieval English peasant.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a boorish person; a peasant
- n. : a freedman, ranked below a thane but above a thrall
- n. ill-mannered lout
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A rustic; a countryman or laborer.
- n. A rough, surly, ill-bred man; a boor.
- n. A selfish miser; an illiberal person; a niggard.
- adj. Churlish; rough; selfish.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A rustic; a peasant; a countryman or laborer.
- n. Specifically In early English history, one of the lowest class of freemen; one who held land from or worked on the estate of his lord.
- n. A coarse, rude, surly, sullen, or ill-tempered person.
- n. A miser; a niggard.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend
- n. a bad-tempered person
- n. a crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking culture or refinement
If he did, he would know that the word churl OE. ceorl m. is historically, and currently, loaded with class distinction.
Ceorle (whence our word churl) was a countryman or artisan who was a freeman.
But when what distinguishes the hero from the churl is the choice of obedience or disobedience, then it is open to anyone at any time to become either.
The instruments of the churl are and always will be evil, but the liberal deviseth liberal things, Isa. xxxii.
Nabal was, a fool but for his money, shall not be complimented with the title of a gentleman or a prince; nor shall they call a churl, that minds none but himself, does no good with what he has, but is an unprofitable burden of the earth, My lord; or, rather, they shall not say of him, He is rich; for so the word signifies.
In one incident, an English "churl" who was renowned for weightlifting had a habit of challenging passers-by to hit him on the back with a board for 3 pence to see if it would cause any damage.
The "churl" had no rights which those in office were bound to respect.
To enforce this rule, here is a description both of the vile person and of the liberal; and by it we shall see such a vast difference between them that we must quite forget ourselves if we pay that respect to the vile person and the churl which is due only to the liberal.
If it takes a special kind of churl to be appalled at the sight of young people in love, then the studios have made sourpusses of us all.
12.4 For the proper mediæval horror of 'churl's blood,' see