Churl Churl, n. [AS. ceorl a freeman of the lowest rank, man, husband; akin to D. karel, kerel, G. kerl, Dan. & Sw. karl, Icel. karl, and to the E. proper name Charles (orig., man, male), and perh. to Skr. j[=a]ra lover. Cf. {Carl}, {Charles's Wain}.] 1. A rustic; a countryman or laborer. ``A peasant or churl.'' --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Your rank is all reversed; let men of cloth Bow to the stalwart churls in overalls. --Emerson. [1913 Webster]

2. A rough, surly, ill-bred man; a boor. [1913 Webster]

A churl's courtesy rarely comes, but either for gain or falsehood. --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

3. A selfish miser; an illiberal person; a niggard. [1913 Webster]

Like to some rich churl hoarding up his pelf. --Drayton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • churl — churl; churl·ish; churl·ish·ly; churl·ish·ness; …   English syllables

  • churl — (chûrl) n. 1) A rude, boorish person. See Synonyms at BOOR(Cf. ↑boor). 2) A miserly person. 3) a) A ceorl. b) A medieval English peasant. ╂ [Middle English, from Old English ceorl, peasant.] …   Word Histories

  • Churl — Churl, a. Churlish; rough; selfish. [Obs.] Ford. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • churl — O.E. ceorl peasant, freeman, man without rank, from P.Gmc. *kerlaz, *karlaz (Cf. O.Fris. zerl man, fellow, M.L.G. kerle, Du. kerel, Ger. Kerl man, husband, O.N. karl old man, man ). It had various meaning in early M.E., including man of the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • churl — n *boor, lout, clown, clodhopper, bumpkin, hick, yokel, rube Antonyms: *gentleman, aristocrat …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • churl — [n] rude and ill bred, a boor; person overly concerned with saving money beast, chuff, clodhopper*, miser, mucker*, niggard*, oaf, peasant, provincial, rustic, tightwad, yokel; concept 423 …   New thesaurus

  • churl — ► NOUN 1) an impolite and mean spirited person. 2) archaic a peasant. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • churl — [chʉrl] n. [ME cherl < OE ceorl, peasant, freeman: for IE base see CORN1] 1. CEORL 2. a farm laborer; peasant 3. a surly, ill bred person; boor 4. a selfish or mean person …   English World dictionary

  • Churl — A churl (etymologically the same name as Charles / Carl and Old High German karal), in its earliest Old English (Anglo Saxon) meaning, was simply a man , but the word soon came to mean a non servile peasant , still spelt ċeorl(e), and denoting… …   Wikipedia

  • churl — /cherrl/, n. 1. a rude, boorish, or surly person. 2. a peasant; rustic. 3. a niggard; miser: He was a churl in his affections. 4. Eng. Hist. a freeman of the lowest rank. [bef. 900; ME cherl, OE ceorl man, freeman; c. D kerel, G Kerl; akin to… …   Universalium

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