1The rank or title of an earl.
- On the death of his brother Brien in 1562 he succeeded to the earldom, though his title was not recognized by Elizabeth until 1585.
- 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.
- 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.
1.1 historical The territory governed by an earl.
- In 1136, St Magnus' nephew, Rognvald, sailed into Pierowall during his invasion to seize the Orkney 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.
- 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.
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