A Count is a nobleman in various European countries, of the equivalent rank of a British earl. Originally the title denoted the rank of a high official in the late Roman Empire and later in many German kingdoms in the early Middle Ages, as well as the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe. It was often conferred by the head of a country as an honorific title for special services rendered.
The French equivalent is comte and the German is Graf. In German kingdoms the title was combined with the word for the jurisdiction or domain the nobleman was responsible for, such as "Landgraf" - landgrave, "Burggraf" - burgrave (burg = castle).
See also Count of Holland.