Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Carl


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English carl, from Old English carl, a borrowing from Old Norse karl (man, husband), from Proto-Germanic *karilaz. Doublet of churl.



carl (plural carls)

  1. A rude, rustic man; a churl.
    • 1974, Guy Davenport, Tatlin!:
      In Lent noblemen and carls alike had got into the traces and pulled the carts of stone themselves.
  2. (Scotland, obsolete) A stingy person; a niggard.

Etymology 2[edit]

Origin uncertain.

Alternative forms[edit]


carl (third-person singular simple present carls, present participle carling, simple past and past participle carled)

  1. (obsolete, intransitive) To snarl; to talk grumpily or gruffly.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970:
      , New York 2001, p.210:
      [] full of ache, sorrow, and grief, children again, dizzards, they carle many times as they sit, and talk to themselves, they are angry, waspish, displeased with everything []


Old English[edit]


From Old Norse karl (Swedish karl (man)), from Proto-Germanic *karlaz (man, male). Cognate with Old High German karl, karal and related to Old English ċeorl.



carl m

  1. a freeman, a man of middle rank or social class (in Norse and Anglo-Saxon society)
  2. (by extension) a man
  3. (by extension, in compounds) a male
    carlcatthe-cat, a male cat
    carlfugola male bird, cock