Meaning of jarl in English:


Pronunciation /jɑːl/


  • A Norse or Danish chief.

    ‘the great jarl Thorfinn’
    • ‘But the name earl gradually merged with the Danish jarl and, after the reign of Alfred, earls took over the responsibilities of ealdormen.’
    • ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle suggests that the Viking armies were led by jarls as often as kings.’
    • ‘From the hill folk, I had heard Cyneric was begotten to a Danish woman by a famous jarl named Sigólfr, a name Cyneric bore whether or not the tale was false.’
    • ‘In the early period there is little clear difference between powerful jarls and the many petty kings who flourished in Denmark and Norway.’
    • ‘Later, in the eleventh century, under kings such as Harald Hardrada, the power-broking jarls were crushed.’


Old Norse, literally ‘man of noble birth’; related to earl.