From Middle English athel, hathel (“noble", also "nobleman, hero”), from Old English æþele (“noble, eminent, aristocratic, excellent, famous, glorious, splendid, fine, costly, valuable, vigorous, lusty, young, pleasant, sweet-smelling, natural, congenial, suitable”), from Proto-Germanic *aþalaz, *aþaljaz, *aþiluz (“noble, of noble birth”), from Proto-Indo-European *átta (“father”). Akin to Old Frisian eþel, Dutch edel, German edel. Middle English form hathel due to conflation with Old English hæleþ (“hero”). See heleth.
athel (plural athels)