1. The lord or military governor of a medieval German border province.
2. Used as a hereditary title for certain princes in the Holy Roman Empire.
[Probably Middle Dutch marcgrāve : marc, march, border; see merg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + grāve, count (perhaps ultimately from Greek grapheus, scribe; see gerbh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
mar·gravi·al (-grāvē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.