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Earl vs. Count: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 12, 2023
"Earl" is a British noble title, equivalent to the European title "Count," which denotes a rank of nobility or aristocracy.

Key Differences

The title Earl is rooted in British history and refers to a member of the British nobility. This title is below that of a marquis but above a viscount. In contrast, Count is the equivalent title in many European countries, signifying a similar rank in the hierarchical structure of nobility.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
While the word Earl has origins in Old English, derived from the term "eorl" meaning chief or nobleman, Count originates from the Latin "comes," meaning companion. The title of Count was historically given to trusted officials in the Roman Empire, signifying their closeness to the emperor.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
Both Earl and Count hold territorial implications. An Earl usually oversees an area known as a shire or county in Britain. Similarly, a Count would have authority over a county or a similar territorial division in Europe, emphasizing their administrative and often judicial roles.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
The wife of an Earl is known as a "Countess" in Britain, which is interestingly the same term used for the wife of a Count in Europe. This shared terminology signifies the closeness of these two ranks in the broader spectrum of aristocracy.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023
In contemporary use, while the role and powers of an Earl or a Count have diminished and become more ceremonial, these titles still signify a certain social status and respect in both Britain and Europe. Their enduring relevance is a testament to the lasting legacy of the feudal system and its influence on societal structures.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Origins

British
European (continental)
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Derived From

Old English "eorl" (chief or nobleman)
Latin "comes" (companion)
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Territorial Role

Oversees a shire or county in Britain
Authority over a county in Europe
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Female Counterpart

Countess
Countess
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Modern Relevance

Ceremonial and denotes social status
Ceremonial and denotes social status
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023
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Earl and Count Definitions

Earl

A British nobleman ranking above a viscount and below a marquis
The Earl of Derby is a notable title in England.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Count

A man who possesses a continental European countship
The Count was known for his vast estates and vineyards.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Earl

A title awarded for various services in Britain
He was made an Earl for his contributions to the arts.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Count

A title used in various European countries with varying degrees of power
In some countries, the title of Count still holds significant influence.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Earl

The overseer of a shire or county in historical British terms
The Earl was responsible for maintaining peace in his shire.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Count

To name or list (the units of a group or collection) one by one in order to determine a total; number.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

A term originating from Old English referring to a chief or noble
Historically, the term earl was akin to a tribal leader.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Count

To recite numerals in ascending order up to and including
Count three before firing.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

A British nobleman next in rank above a viscount and below a marquis, corresponding to a count in continental Europe.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To include in a reckoning; take account of
Ten dogs, counting the puppies.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

Used as a title for such a nobleman.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To include by or as if by counting
Count me in.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

(entomology) Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Tanaecia. Other butterflies in this genus are called counts and viscounts.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To exclude by or as if by counting
Count me out.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

A nobleman of England ranking below a marquis, and above a viscount. The rank of an earl corresponds to that of a count (comte) in France, and graf in Germany. Hence the wife of an earl is still called countess. See Count.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To believe or consider to be; deem
Count yourself lucky.
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Nov 04, 2022

Earl

The needlefish.
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

To recite or list numbers in order or enumerate items by units or groups
Counted by tens.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

A British peer ranking below a Marquess and above a Viscount
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To have importance
You really count with me.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Earl

The male holder of an earldom
The young Earl inherited his title upon his father's demise.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Count

To have a specified importance or value
Their opinions count for little. Each basket counts for two points.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(Music) To keep time by counting beats.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

The act of counting or calculating.
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

A number reached by counting.
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Count

The totality of specific items in a particular sample
A white blood cell count.
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Count

(Law) Any of the separate and distinct charges or causes of action in an indictment or complaint.
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

(Sports) The counting from one to ten seconds, during which time a boxer who has been knocked down must rise or be declared the loser.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(Baseball) The number of balls and strikes that an umpire has called against a batter.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

A nobleman in some European countries.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

Used as a title for such a nobleman.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(intransitive) To recite numbers in sequence.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(transitive) To determine the number of (objects in a group).
Count the number of apples in the bag and write down the number on the spreadsheet.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(intransitive) To amount to, to number in total.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(intransitive) To be of significance; to matter.
Your views don’t count here.
It does count if you cheat with someone when you’re drunk.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(intransitive) To be an example of something: often followed by as and an indefinite noun.
Apples count as a type of fruit.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(transitive) To consider something as an example of something or as having some quality; to account, to regard as.
He counts himself a hero after saving the cat from the river.
I count you as more than a friend.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(transitive) To reckon in, to include in consideration.
They walked for three days, not counting the time spent resting.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To take account or note (of), to care (for).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To recount, to tell.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To plead orally; to argue a matter in court; to recite a count.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

The act of counting or tallying a quantity.
Give the chairs a quick count to check if we have enough.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

The result of a tally that reveals the number of items in a set; a quantity counted.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

A countdown.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(legal) A charge of misconduct brought in a legal proceeding.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(baseball) The number of balls and strikes, respectively, on a batter's in-progress plate appearance.
He has a 3–2 count with the bases loaded.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(obsolete) An object of interest or account; value; estimation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

The male ruler of a county.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

A nobleman holding a rank intermediate between dukes and barons.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

(entomology) Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Tanaecia. Other butterflies in this genus are called earls and viscounts.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

Countable.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To tell or name one by one, or by groups, for the purpose of ascertaining the whole number of units in a collection; to number; to enumerate; to compute; to reckon.
Who can count the dust of Jacob?
In a journey of forty miles, Avaux counted only three miserable cabins.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To place to an account; to ascribe or impute; to consider or esteem as belonging.
Abracham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To esteem; to account; to reckon; to think, judge, or consider.
I count myself in nothing else so happyAs in a soul remembering my good friends.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To number or be counted; to possess value or carry weight; hence, to increase or add to the strength or influence of some party or interest; as, every vote counts; accidents count for nothing.
This excellent man . . . counted among the best and wisest of English statesmen.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To reckon; to rely; to depend; - with on or upon.
He was brewer to the palace; and it was apprehended that the government counted on his voice.
I think it a great error to count upon the genius of a nation as a standing argument in all ages.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To take account or note; - with
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

To plead orally; to argue a matter in court; to recite a count.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

The act of numbering; reckoning; also, the number ascertained by counting.
Of blessed saints for to increase the count.
By this count, I shall be much in years.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

An object of interest or account; value; estimation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

A formal statement of the plaintiff's case in court; in a more technical and correct sense, a particular allegation or charge in a declaration or indictment, separately setting forth the cause of action or prosecution.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

A nobleman on the continent of Europe, equal in rank to an English earl.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

The total number counted;
A blood count
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

The act of counting;
The counting continued for several hours
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

A nobleman (in various countries) having rank equal to a British earl
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

Determine the number or amount of;
Can you count the books on your shelf?
Count your change
Sawaira Riaz
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Count

Have weight; have import, carry weight;
It does not matter much
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

Show consideration for; take into account;
You must consider her age
The judge considered the offender's youth and was lenient
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Count

Name or recite the numbers;
The toddler could count to 100
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Count

Put into a group;
The academy counts several Nobel Prize winners among its members
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Count

Include as if by counting;
I can count my colleagues in the opposition
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Count

Have faith or confidence in;
You can count on me to help you any time
Look to your friends for support
You can bet on that!
Depend on your family in times of crisis
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Nov 04, 2022

Count

Take account of;
You have to reckon with our opponents
Count on the monsoon
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Count

A European title of nobility, equivalent to a British Earl
The Count of Monte Cristo is a famous literary character.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Count

A person who has authority over a territorial region in Europe
The Count managed the affairs of his county diligently.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

Count

A title historically given to trusted officials in the Roman Empire
As a Count, he was a companion to the emperor.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

FAQs

What's above an Earl in rank?

A marquis is above an Earl in the British system.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Where does the title Earl come from?

It derives from Old English "eorl," meaning chief or nobleman.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Are Earl and Count the same rank?

Yes, Earl in Britain is equivalent to Count in many European countries.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Are there famous fictional Counts in literature?

Yes, one example is the Count of Monte Cristo.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

How did one historically become a Count?

Titles were often granted by monarchs for service, loyalty, or other contributions.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Is a Count's role the same across all European countries?

The title exists in many countries, but its significance and role can vary.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Do Earls and Counts still hold political power?

Mostly, their roles are ceremonial today, but they can have influence due to their status.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What's the female title for Count?

The female title is Countess, both for Count and Earl.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Can someone become an Earl or is it only hereditary?

While many titles are hereditary, some can be bestowed for notable services.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Was the title Count always ceremonial?

Historically, Counts had authority over counties and played significant administrative roles.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

How does one address an Earl?

Typically, they're addressed as "Lord [Surname]" or "Earl of [Place]."
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Can Earls and Counts be wealthy today?

Yes, many still possess vast estates, land, or other wealth.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Is an Earl's jurisdiction always called a shire?

No, it can also be a county or other territorial divisions.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Are all Counts of noble blood?

Most are, but historically, some were appointed for services to the crown or empire.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Do Earls and Counts have coats of arms?

Yes, many have historically recognized coats of arms.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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