See also: Earless

English edit

Etymology 1 edit

ear +‎ -less

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪə̯ləs/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪɹləs/, /iɹləs/

Adjective edit

earless (not comparable)

  1. Lacking ears.
    Earless seals are probably more hydrodynamic without ear lobes.
    • 1883 January, A. E. Blount, “Experiments in Corn Culture”, in Agricultural Review and Journal of the American Agricultural Association, volume III, number 1, page 11:
      There are but few farmers who have failed to notice the large number of poor and earless stalks in the crop, but few can give any reason. They have often seen a good stalk and a poor one in the same hill—one with perhaps two good ears, the other with none on it. Just so long as we select as we do, and fail to improve on our system of saving seed, we shall have more earless stalks than prolific ones.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, pages 206–7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

From earl +‎ -ess.

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

earless (plural earlesses)

  1. (nonstandard) A countess (a female holder of an earldom or the wife of an earl).
    • 1870, Joseph Holt Ingraham, Annie Temple; Or, The Bankrupt's Heiress: A Home Romance, page 80:
      “Don’t you think you could catch this Earl (for Doctor Willett, and he never told a lie in his life, says he is so). You know Arley hasn’t much tact. An earl is better than to be the rich Mrs. Haverhill! An earl’s wife is a duchess, or at least, an earless—” / “A countess, ’ma!”
    • 1900, Linn Boyd Porter, A Sugar Princess, page 240:
      “You see I don’t knew much about titles, as we have only the royal family in Honolulu—she is called an Earless, I suppose.” / “No, a countess. An earl in the English peerage is of the same rank as a count in some of the continental countries. When I come into the title, if I am married, my wife will be Countess of Somerset.”
    • 1914, Francis Prevost, The Uncertain Glory, Lane, John, page 137:
      Here it’s almost indecent to talk of love before marriage, and nearly as bad after, if you’re referring to your husband. And suppose that Céline accepted him, just . . . well, just to be a . . . what-do-you-call-it—earless?” / “Countess.”
    • 1926, The Strand Magazine, volume 72, page 234:
      “And if you had,” he puzzled it out, “you would be the—the Earless of Axminster.” / She gave a delighted gurgle of laughter. / “Countess,” she corrected him.
    • 1984, Martha Grimes, The Dirty Duck, Scribner's, →ISBN:
      Penny had apparently grown as sick of Southwark Cathedral as had Melrose of his earldom. “Then that means your wife can’t be—what? An earless?” / “Countess.”
    • 1996, Lois Stewart, A Marriage of Convenience, Kensington Books, →ISBN, page 86:
      Finally, Tristan blurted, “Does this mean you’ll be an earless Sophy? No, that can’t be right.” / “Idiot boy,” Caroline pronounced with a scathing look. “There’s no such thing as an earless. Sophy will be a countess. The Countess of Leyburn.”
    • 1999, Carol Turkington, “Earl/Countess”, in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cultural Etiquette, Alpha Books, →ISBN:
      His wife is not an Earless, but a Countess (sounds better, anyway).
    • 2006 January 31, Shana Galen, Pride and Petticoats, →ISBN, page 76:
      “An earl?” / “An earless,” she answered confidently. / Dewhurst blanched. / “No, no!” she hurriedly added, “I meant an earlette.” / He clutched one of the bedposts, knuckles turning white. “A countess,” he said so quietly she could hardly hear him.
    • 2013 July 4, Caroline Dunford, “Chapter Ten: The Court”, in A Death In The Wedding Party: A Euphemia Martins Mystery, →ISBN:
      ‘I’m sorry,’ she gulped, ‘but you should have seen Lady Stapleford’s face when the Earless greeted you first! And then Richenda nearly had a cow when you said the house was small.’ / ‘Countess,’ I said. ‘Not Earless.’
    • 2020 May, Sarah Burton, The Strange Adventures of H, Legend Press, →ISBN:
      “Ho, yes!” exclaimed Janey. “To see dear Diana’s face would be a prize itself! Oh, H, think of it: you an earless—” / “Countess,” Kat corrected her.

Anagrams edit