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A freeman of the lowest class in Anglo-Saxon England.

[Old English.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Historical Terms) a freeman of the lowest class in Anglo-Saxon England
[Old English; see churl]
ˈceorlish adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈtʃeɪ ɔrl)

(in Anglo-Saxon England) a freeman of the lowest rank.
[< Old English; see churl]
ceorl′ish, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
'Diddes Borough' eventually became 'Didsbury.' Chorlton According to Manchester council, the name Chorlton is possibly derived from the Saxon Ceorlaton or Churl'stun, meaning the enclosure of the ceorls or peasants, or from Ceolfripton, meaning Ceolfip's enclosure.
Part travelogue, part expert reconstruction, "In the Land of Giants" offers a beautifully written insight into the lives of peasants, drengs, ceorls, thanes, monks, knights, and kings during an enigmatic but richly exciting period of Britain's history.
And it appears in the laws of Hlothere and Eadric (no.16) regarding a Kentish man's need for two or three honest "ceorls," or else the king's town reeve, to witness his purchases in London (for handy contexts, see Dorothy Whitelock).(12)