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[mahr-greyv] /ˈmɑr greɪv/
(formerly) the hereditary title of the rulers of certain European states.
History/Historical. a hereditary German title, equivalent to marquis.
(originally) a military governor of a German mark, or border province.
Origin of margrave
1545-55; earlier marcgrave < Middle Dutch, equivalent to marke border (cognate with march2) + grave count (cognate with reeve1); compare German Markgraf
Related forms
margravial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for margrave
Historical Examples
  • The margrave of Rudesheimer was a slender man of elegant appearance.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • The margrave was astounded, the people in raptures, and the cousins in despair.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • She had gone to Bayreuth, where she had been the margrave's mistress.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • "The two are together," said the margrave, clutching his friend's shoulder.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • "'Tis clear as the staff of a pike," said the poor margrave, mournfully.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • In accents broken by grief, the margrave explained what had occurred.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The margrave had bestowed favours on me, during my imprisonment at Magdeburg.

  • "If I could hear your story," said the margrave, with his lofty, serious smile.

  • His hand encountered the strange touch of the margrave's card.

  • All that margrave ever said of himself and the source of his wealth confirmed this belief.

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for margrave


a German nobleman ranking above a count. Margraves were originally counts appointed to govern frontier provinces, but all had become princes of the Holy Roman Empire by the 12th century
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Dutch markgrave, literally: count of the march²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for margrave

military governor of a German border province, 1550s, from Middle Dutch markgrave (Dutch markgraaf), literally "count of the border," from Old High German marcgravo; second element from graf "count, earl" (Old High German gravo, gravjo), from West Germanic *grafa "a designation of rank, possibly borrowed from Greek grapheus "scribe." For first element see mark (n.1). Later a hereditary title under the Holy Roman Empire. His wife was a margravine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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