Definitions

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

  • n. A nobleman ranking below an earl or count and above a baron.
  • n. Used as a title for such a nobleman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of the peerage above a baron but below a count or earl.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An officer who formerly supplied the place of the count, or earl; the sheriff of the county.
  • n. A nobleman of the fourth rank, next in order below an earl and next above a baron; also, his degree or title of nobility. See Peer, n., 3.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Formerly, an officer who acted as deputy of a count or earl in the management of the affairs of the county; the sheriff of a county.
  • n. A degree or title of nobility next in rank below that of earl, and immediately above that of baron.

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

  • n. a British peer who ranks below an earl and above a baron
  • n. (in various countries) a son or younger brother or a count

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French visconte, from Medieval Latin vicecomes, vicecomit- : Late Latin vice-, vice- + Late Latin comes, occupant of any state office; see count2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman viscounte, from Medieval Latin vicecomes. Equivalent to vice- + count. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Before we pull the rug out from under the Covingtons, Arthur especially, Terence needs to decide if he really wants the designation of viscount.

    Almost a Whisper

  • Thus the word viscount was in Latin vice-comes, in itself a terrible admission.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, May 27, 1914

  • 'The viscount is not supposed to have been unrivalled in the young lady's favour.

    Belinda

  • But I held firm, and in the end I got a couple of old duchesses and something called a viscount (you don't pronounce the s, which I learned by putting my foot in my mouth) behind the one-way mirror.

    Royal Pain

  • The viscount is the one whose jewels you just stole.

    Not So Innocent

  • The wife of a marquess is a marchioness, the wife of an earl is a countess earl is the British equivalent of count, the wife of a viscount is a viscountess, the wife of a baron is a baroness.

    Essential Guide to Business Style and Usage

  • Now the viscount was a right rich man: so had he a rich palace with a garden in face of it; in an upper chamber thereof he had Nicolette placed, with one old woman to keep her company, and in that chamber put bread and meat and wine and such, things as were needful.

    The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)ā€”Continental Europe I

  • The viscount was the lion of the party, and his exclusive attention to the young heiress could not escape observation.

    Ishmael In the Depths

  • A regular poultry yard, of which the viscount was the peacock.

    Bohemians of the Latin Quarter

  • "It is from no personal ill-feeling towards the viscount, that is all I can say, sir," replied Danglars, who resumed his insolent manner as soon as he perceived that Morcerf was a little softened and calmed down.

    The Count of Monte Cristo

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.