One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The hereditary title of some princes of the Holy Roman Empire.
- ‘It is true that mormaers are found inland, but an analogy may be made with Carolingian border officials ‘margrave’ and ‘marquis’ which became titles for members of the nobility far away from a frontier.’
- ‘In order for his margraves, especially, to rule the conquered peoples, Charlemagne had their customs set down in writing.’
- ‘Long after Charlemagne, and even long after the Middle Ages, there were lords in Germany called margraves, still reflecting the administrative inheritance from the early Middle Ages.’
Mid 16th century, from Middle Dutch markgrave ‘count of a border territory’, from marke ‘boundary’ + grave ‘count’.
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