from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The lord or military governor of a medieval German border province.
  • noun Used as a hereditary title for certain princes in the Holy Roman Empire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A German title (markgraf), ‘count or earl of a mark’ or border province: equivalent to marquis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Originally, a lord or keeper of the borders or marches in Germany.
  • noun The English equivalent of the German title of nobility, markgraf; a marquis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A feudal era military-administrative officer of comital rank in the Carolingian empire and some successor states, originally in charge of a border area.
  • noun A hereditary ruling prince in certain feudal states of the Holy Roman Empire and elsewhere; the titular equivalent became known as marquis or marquess.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a German nobleman ranking above a count (corresponding in rank to a British marquess)
  • noun the military governor of a frontier province in medieval Germany


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably Middle Dutch marcgrāve : marc, march, border; see merg- in Indo-European roots + grāve, count (perhaps ultimately from Greek grapheus, scribe; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Dutch marcgrāve (modern Dutch markgraaf), cognate with Old High German marcgrāvo (modern German Markgraf), from the Germanic bases of mark ("march, border territory") + grave ("officer of comital rank"). Compare marchion, marquis, landgrave.


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  • from Middlemarch

    October 1, 2007