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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I prefer that one of the most powerful earldoms is in the hands of a young boy who is absent.’
    • ‘On the death of his brother Brien in 1562 he succeeded to the earldom, though his title was not recognized by Elizabeth until 1585.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She did not realise that for Russell, the legitimacy of possible heirs to the earldom of Russell was of paramount importance.’
    • ‘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 became Viscount Dunlo in 1801 and inherited the earldom from his father, the first Earl of Clancarty, in 1803.’
    • ‘Lord John was twice Prime Minister - from 1846 to 1852 and from 1865 to 1866-and was raised to an earldom by Queen Victoria.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was granted an earldom in 1944 and remained at his post until 1946.’
    • ‘When Earl Siward of Northumbria died two years later, his earldom went to Harold's brother Tostig.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had succeeded to the earldom in 1678 and embarked on an ambitious programme for refurbishing his Elizabethan ancestral home.’
    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.’
      • ‘By the end of the 9th century, the colonisation of Orkney had been so successful that it had become a Norwegian earldom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 944, when the last Danish king was expelled from York, Northumbria became an earldom of England.’
      • ‘His father had insisted they make a round of the earldom and visit some ‘family friends’ on the way back to Trieste.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1136, St Magnus' nephew, Rognvald, sailed into Pierowall during his invasion to seize the Orkney earldom.’
      • ‘They were also one of the poorer earldoms in Gwyn.’
      • ‘You dragged me across the earldom because you were lonely?’