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viscount

[vahy-kount]
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noun
  1. a nobleman next below an earl or count and next above a baron.
  2. History/Historical. a deputy of a count or earl.
  3. (in England) a sheriff.
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Origin of viscount

1350–1400; Middle English viscounte < Anglo-French; Old French visconte (French vicomte), equivalent to vis vice3 + counte count2, translation Medieval Latin vicecomes
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for viscount

viscount

noun
  1. (in the British Isles) a nobleman ranking below an earl and above a baron
  2. (in various countries) a son or younger brother of a countSee also vicomte
  3. (in medieval Europe) the deputy of a count
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French visconte, from Medieval Latin vicecomes, from Late Latin vice- vice ³ + comes count 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 viscount

n.

late 14c., "deputy of a count or earl," from Anglo-French and Old French visconte, from Medieval Latin vicecomes (genitive vicecomitis), from Late Latin vice- "deputy" (see vice-) + Latin comes "member of an imperial court, nobleman" (see count (n.)). As a rank in British peerage, first recorded 1440, when John, Baron Beaumont, was made one by Henry VI.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper