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Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility. Especially in earlier medieval periods the term often implied not only a certain status, but also that the count had specific responsibilities or offices. The etymologically related English term "county" denoted the territories associated with some countships, but not all.
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gentry and chivalric ranks in Europe
Although the term count was not generally used in England, after the 1066 conquest by the Normans, the European term "count" was the normal translation used for the English title of "earl", and the wives of earls are still referred to as countesses.