Nobleman almost skinned? (4)
I believe the answer is:
'nobleman' is the definition.
(member of the nobility)
'almost skinned?' is the wordplay.
'almost' becomes 'nearly' (synonyms).
'skinned?' indicates the central letters (I've seen 'skinned' mean this).
The centre of 'nearly' is 'EARL'.
(Other definitions for earl that I've seen before include "Sandwich perhaps" , "Lear (anag)" , "Countesss husband" , "Aristocrat ranking between marquis and viscount" , "Male equivalent of a countess" .)