Definition of earldom in English:



  • 1The rank or title of an earl.

    • ‘The only prime ministers who really retired but never got a peerage were the great Liberal leader William Gladstone, who declined an earldom, and Churchill, who declined a dukedom.’
    • ‘When Earl Siward of Northumbria died two years later, his earldom went to Harold's brother Tostig.’
    • ‘When he died, it went in turn to the third son, George, who founded the family of the Sinclairs of Mey which succeeded to the earldom in 1789.’
    • ‘He was granted an earldom in 1944 and remained at his post until 1946.’
    • ‘Uhtred is the heir to the earldom of Bebbanburgh, now known as Bamburgh, in northern England, after his older brother and his father are killed by Viking raiders.’
    • ‘On the death of his brother Brien in 1562 he succeeded to the earldom, though his title was not recognized by Elizabeth until 1585.’
    • ‘We concede that were he able to pull off this feat, an earldom, as opposed to a mere honorary knighthood, would be a more appropriate reward.’
    • ‘He had succeeded to the earldom in 1678 and embarked on an ambitious programme for refurbishing his Elizabethan ancestral home.’
    • ‘Gloucester's lack of sight caused him to believe Edmund was the good son and prevented him from pondering the idea of Edmund being after his earldom.’
    • ‘I am afraid I have seen only fragments of his programmes, but my desk is covered with letters from people who think he should be given a knighthood, or a hereditary earldom, for his campaign.’
    • ‘Lord John was twice Prime Minister - from 1846 to 1852 and from 1865 to 1866-and was raised to an earldom by Queen Victoria.’
    • ‘He became Viscount Dunlo in 1801 and inherited the earldom from his father, the first Earl of Clancarty, in 1803.’
    • ‘Tostig, who had been dispossessed of his earldom, raided the south-east coast before joining the invasion by Harald Hardrada of Norway in northern England.’
    • ‘In 1726, when he succeeded to the earldom of Chesterfield on the death of his father, he became a Member of the House of Lords.’
    • ‘She did not realise that for Russell, the legitimacy of possible heirs to the earldom of Russell was of paramount importance.’
    • ‘I prefer that one of the most powerful earldoms is in the hands of a young boy who is absent.’
    • ‘Born in Montfort, he was well received by Henry when he arrived in England in 1230, allowed to claim the earldom of Leicester, and married the king's youngest sister Eleanor.’
    • ‘In 1055, Earl Siward of Northumbria died whilst his son, Waltheof, was too young to succeed him, and Harold manoeuvred his brother Tostig into the earldom.’
    1. 1.1historical The territory governed by an earl.
      • ‘If a union met with his disapproval anywhere in his earldom, the proposal could be voided.’
      • ‘In 1136, St Magnus' nephew, Rognvald, sailed into Pierowall during his invasion to seize the Orkney earldom.’
      • ‘You dragged me across the earldom because you were lonely?’
      • ‘I come from a good family, my father was an honorable man, and I was the lord of one of the richest earldoms in the kingdom.’
      • ‘His father had insisted they make a round of the earldom and visit some ‘family friends’ on the way back to Trieste.’
      • ‘When William the Conqueror (William I) and his Norman army conquered England in 1066, the three English earldoms of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford were established on the border with Wales.’
      • ‘They were also one of the poorer earldoms in Gwyn.’
      • ‘By the end of the 9th century, the colonisation of Orkney had been so successful that it had become a Norwegian earldom.’
      • ‘In 944, when the last Danish king was expelled from York, Northumbria became an earldom of England.’