Definition of ceorl in English:

ceorl

noun

historical
  • (in Anglo-Saxon England) a freeman of the lowest class, ranking directly below a thane.

    • ‘There were three main classes of ceorl, although the dividing line between the classes was indistinct.’
    • ‘The fully armed late Saxon warrior was something more than a ceorl turned soldier.’
    • ‘All ceorls could win promotion through prosperity or military service.’
    • ‘If a ceorl and his wife have a child, and the ceorl dies, the mother shall keep her child and bring it up.’
    • ‘Even the West Saxon ceorl appears as the head of a free peasant household, owing military service, capable of owning slaves, and with significant legal status.’
    bondsman, slave, servant, menial, villein, thrall, helot, ceorl
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to carl.

Pronunciation:

ceorl

/tʃəːl/