From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Viscount \Vis"count`\, n. [OE. vicounte, OF. visconte, vescunte,
   F. vicomte, LL. vicecomes; L. vice (see Vice, a.) + comes a
   companion, LL., a count. See Count.]
   1. (O. Eng. Law) An officer who formerly supplied the place
      of the count, or earl; the sheriff of the county.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A nobleman of the fourth rank, next in order below an earl
      and next above a baron; also, his degree or title of
      nobility. See Peer, n., 3. [Eng.] --Chaucer.
      [1913 Webster]
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