[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. margination,
  2. marginoplasty,
  3. margosa,
  4. margot,
  5. margravate,
  6. margravine,
  7. margrethe,
  8. margrethe ii,
  9. marguerite,
  10. margulies

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 formsmar·gra·vi·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for margrave

British Dictionary definitions for margrave


/ (ˈmɑːˌɡreɪv) /


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 for margrave

C16: from Middle Dutch markgrave, literally: count of the march ²

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 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