Definition of Carolingian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkerəˈlinj(ē)ən/
(also Carlovingian)


1Relating to the Frankish dynasty, founded by Charlemagne’s father (Pepin III), that ruled in western Europe from 750 to 987.
Example sentences
  • The Carolingian dynasty ended when Hugh Capet ascended the throne of France in 987.
  • Yet it is important to note that the Frankish frontiers were inherited from those the Carolingian rulers subjected to Frankish rule rather than being the outcome of deliberate strategic choice.
  • Godfrey and his relatives were very proud of their close descent from the last male heir of the old Carolingian dynasty.
1.1Denoting or relating to a style of minuscule script developed in France during the time of Charlemagne, on which modern lower-case letters are largely based.
Example sentences
  • The letters of the new script, called the Carolingian minuscule, were written in upper and lower case, with punctuation and words were separated.
  • The Carolingian style was developed under the rule of Charlemagne, when, in 789 there was a decree which called for the revision of Church books.
  • In 796 Alcuin retired from Charlemagne's Palace School at Aachen and became abbot of the Abbey of St Martin at Tours, where he had his monks continue to work with the Carolingian minuscule script.


A member of the Carolingian dynasty.
Example sentences
  • Membership of the Frankish royal families, both the Merovingians and the Carolingians, was by contrast restricted to the male line, but the wives and mothers of kings were often from the aristocracy.
  • It was the Carolingians, however, who really gave structure to royal justice.
  • Nevertheless, Carolingians reigned in Germany till 911 and in France till 987 and they left behind a prestige which later kings of the Middle Ages sought to emulate.


Alteration of earlier Carlovingian, by association with medieval Latin Carolus 'Charles'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Car·o·lin·gi·an

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