Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The rank or title of an earl.
  • n. The territory of an earl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the rank of being an earl
  • n. The territory controlled by an earl

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The jurisdiction of an earl; the territorial possessions of an earl.
  • n. The status, title, or dignity of an earl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The seigniory, jurisdiction, or dignity of an earl.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the domain controlled by an earl or count or countess
  • n. the dignity or rank or position of an earl or countess

Etymologies

earl + -dom (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For him, the earldom was a private treasure chest, not an estate that fed thousands of people.

    The Pillars of the Earth

  • To the garter nobody can have slenderer pretensions; his family is scarce older than his earldom, which is of the youngest.

    The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 2

  • Augustus Hare described it as “an imitation, not a caricature of the best Italian models,” was built for R.S. Holford in 1851-53 on the site of an older house of the same name belonging to the extinct earldom of Dorchester.

    Mansions of Mayfair | Edwardian Promenade

  • Shortly afterwards Ælfgār was restored to his earldom and a peace treaty concluded.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Gruffudd now allied himself with Ælfgār, son of Earl Leofric of Mercia, who had been deprived of his earldom of East Anglia by Harold Godwinson and his brothers.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • One need only read the what the poet wrote to Southampton to realize that these are not the words of the holder of the oldest title in England to a much younger man whose earldom went back only three generations.

    Law

  • They mean little to me when placed against the venerable consequence of the earldom.

    Earl of Durkness

  • It was almost a relief when everyone started reminding each other about the ancient and baffling phenomenon of entailment, the insane property law that enabled a complete stranger (well, a third cousin, once removed, in Manchester) to inherit all your money and earldom and acres of rolling parkland.

    Downton Abbey; Whites; DCI Banks; Inspector George Gently; Horizon

  • Self-made parking garage magnate who buys an earldom.

    You tell us, in the comments.

  • When she married her first husband, the heir to an earldom, her Colonsay daddy gave her away while her real, Edinburgh daddy sat quietly in a frontpew.

    What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir of Blindness by Candia McWilliam

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