The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Baron \Bar"on\, n. [OE. baron, barun, OF. baron, accus. of ber,
F. baron, prob. fr. OHG. baro (not found) bearer, akin to E.
bear to support; cf. O. Frisian bere, LL. baro, It. barone,
Sp. varon. From the meaning bearer (of burdens) seem to have
come the senses strong man, man (in distinction from woman),
which is the oldest meaning in French, and lastly, nobleman.
Cf. L. baro, simpleton. See Bear to support.]
1. A title or degree of nobility; originally, the possessor
of a fief, who had feudal tenants under him; in modern
times, in France and Germany, a nobleman next in rank
below a count; in England, a nobleman of the lowest grade
in the House of Lords, being next below a viscount.
Note: "The tenants in chief from the Crown, who held lands of
the annual value of four hundred pounds, were styled
Barons; and it is to them, and not to the members of
the lowest grade of the nobility (to whom the title at
the present time belongs), that reference is made when
we read of the Barons of the early days of England's
history. . . . Barons are addressed as `My Lord,' and
are styled `Right Honorable.' All their sons and
daughters are `Honorable.'" --Cussans.
2. (Old Law) A husband; as, baron and feme, husband and wife.
Baron of beef, two sirloins not cut asunder at the
Barons of the Cinque Ports, formerly members of the House
of Commons, elected by the seven Cinque Ports, two for
Barons of the exchequer, the judges of the Court of
Exchequer, one of the three ancient courts of England, now