or carle



  1. a strong, robust fellow, especially a strong manual laborer.
  2. a miser; an extremely thrifty person.
Archaic. a churl.
Obsolete. a bondman.

Origin of carl

before 1000 (in compounds; see housecarl); Middle English; Old English -carl < Old Norse karl man; cognate with Old High German karl; akin to churl
Related formscarl·ish, adjectivecarl·ish·ness, noun




a male given name, form of Charles. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carl

Contemporary Examples of carl

Historical Examples of carl

  • Perhaps Professor Carl Seigfried could give you some information on that point.

  • “Maybe it means having a mustache,” said Carl, with a slight flush.

    Almost A Man

    Mary Wood-Allen

  • “God,” answered Carl glibly, as if that must be the only orthodox answer.

    Almost A Man

    Mary Wood-Allen

  • There aint nowhere a better man than my man; and Carl Olsen, he knows that.

  • Carl Magnus had his Grehweiler palace costing 180,000 guelden.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

British Dictionary definitions for carl




archaic another word for churl

Word Origin for carl

Old English, from Old Norse karl
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

Word Origin and History for carl

c.1300, "bondsman; common man, man of low birth," from Old Norse karl "man, male, freeman," from Proto-Germanic *karlon-, the same root that produced Old English ceorl "man of low degree" (see churl).

The Mellere was a stout carle for the nones [Chaucer]


masc. proper name, from Middle High German Karl "man, husband" (see carl).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper