noun \ˈnīt\

: a soldier in the past who had a high social rank and who fought while riding a horse and usually wearing armor

: a man who is given a special honor and the title of Sir by the king or queen of England

: a chess piece shaped like a horse's head

Full Definition of KNIGHT

a (1) :  a mounted man-at-arms serving a feudal superior; especially :  a man ceremonially inducted into special military rank usually after completing service as page and squire (2) :  a man honored by a sovereign for merit and in Great Britain ranking below a baronet (3) :  a person of antiquity equal to a knight in rank
b :  a man devoted to the service of a lady as her attendant or champion
c :  a member of an order or society
:  either of two pieces of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to make an L-shaped move of two squares in one row and one square in a perpendicular row over squares that may be occupied

Examples of KNIGHT

  1. He was made a knight.

Origin of KNIGHT

Middle English, from Old English cniht man-at-arms, boy, servant; akin to Old High German kneht youth, military follower
First Known Use: before 12th century



: to give (a man) the rank of a knight

Full Definition of KNIGHT

transitive verb
:  to make a knight of

Examples of KNIGHT

  1. He is to be knighted by the Queen for his career as an actor.

First Known Use of KNIGHT

13th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the European Middle Ages, a formally professed cavalryman, generally a vassal holding land as a fief from the lord he served (see feudalism). At about 7 a boy bound for knighthood became a page, then at 12 a damoiseau (“lordling”), varlet, or valet, and subsequently a shieldbearer or esquire. When judged ready, he was dubbed knight by his lord in a solemn ceremony. The Christian ideal of knightly behavior (see chivalry) required devotion to the church, loyalty to military and feudal superiors, and preservation of personal honor. By the 16th century knighthood had become honorific rather than feudal or military.

Variants of KNIGHT

knight French chevalier German Ritter


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