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  1. Also called earlship. the rank or title of an earl.

  2. the territory or jurisdiction of an earl.

Origin of earldom

before 1150; Middle English erldom,Old English eorldōm.See earl, -dom,

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use earldom in a sentence

  • They would be equally willing to acknowledge William of Normandy so that they might but preserve their earldoms under him.

    Wulf the Saxon | G. A. Henty
  • The earldoms of Chester, Cornwall, and Norfolk had long been in the king's hands.

  • A little had been done under Edward II to remedy the desolation of the earldoms.

  • Hereditary right tempered by outlawry was fast becoming the title by which the earldoms were holden.

    Domesday Book and Beyond | Frederic William Maitland
  • The country hed bin divided into dookdoms and earldoms, and sich, over wich the nobility rooled with undispooted authority.

    Swingin Round the Cirkle. | Petroleum V. Nasby

British Dictionary definitions for earldom


/ (ˈɜːldəm) /

  1. the rank, title, or dignity of an earl or countess

  2. the lands of an earl or countess

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