title of nobility, c. 1300, from Anglo-French counte (Old French conte), from Latin comitem (nominative comes) "companion, attendant," the Roman term for a provincial governor, from com "with" (see com-) + stem of ire "to go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). The term was used in Anglo-French to render Old English eorl, but the word was never truly naturalized and mainly was used with reference to foreign titles.
early 14c., "a counting, a calculation," also "an account of money or property," from Anglo-French counte, Old French conte, from conter (see count (v.)).
mid-14c., from Old French conter "add up," but also "tell a story," from Latin computare "to count, sum up, reckon together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + putare "to reckon," originally "to prune," from PIE root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp." Related: Counted; counting. Modern French differentiates compter "to count" and conter "to tell," but they are cognates.
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