ETYM Old Eng. baron, barun, Old Fren. baron, accus. of ber, French baron, prob. from Old High Germ. baro (not found) bearer, akin to Eng. bear to support. Related to O. Frisian bere, Late Lat. baro, Italian barone, Spanish varon.
1. A British peer of the lowest rank.
2. A nobleman (in various countries) of varying rank.
3. A very wealthy or powerful businessman; SYN. big businessman, business leader, king, magnate, mogul, power, top executive, tycoon.
Rank in the peerage of the UK, above a baronet and below a viscount. Historically, any member of the higher nobility, a direct vassal (feudal servant) of the king, not bearing other titles such as duke or count. The term originally meant the vassal of a lord, but acquired its present meaning in the 12th century.
Life peers are always of this rank.