1

cavalier

play
noun cav·a·lier \ˌka-və-ˈlir\

Definition of cavalier

  1. 1 :  a gentleman trained in arms and horsemanship

  2. 2 :  a mounted soldier :  knight

  3. 3 capitalized :  an adherent of Charles I of England

  4. 4 :  a lady's escort or dancing partner :  gallant

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Examples of cavalier in a Sentence

  1. a novel about the dashing cavaliers and gracious ladies of the South before the Civil War

Origin and Etymology of cavalier

Medieval French, from Old Italian cavaliere, from Old Occitan cavalier, from Late Latin caballarius horseman, from Latin caballus


First Known Use: 1589

Other Equestrian Terms


2

cavalier

adjective cav·a·lier

Definition of cavalier

  1. 1 :  debonair

  2. 2 :  marked by or given to offhand and often disdainful (see 1disdain) dismissal of important matters a cavalier attitude toward money has a cavalier disregard for the rights of others

  3. 3a capitalized :  of or relating to the party of Charles I of England in his struggles with the Puritans and Parliamentb :  aristocratic portrayed the plantation owner as a cavalier fopc capitalized :  of or relating to the English Cavalier poets of the mid-17th century

cavalierism

play \-ˌi-zəm\ noun

cavalierly

adverb

Examples of cavalier in a Sentence

  1. They are too cavalier in their treatment of others.

  2. She has a cavalier attitude about spending money.

  3. He has a cavalier disregard for the rights of others.

Recent Examples of cavalier from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cavalier'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

According to a dictionary prepared by Thomas Blount in 1656, a cavalier was "a knight or gentleman, serving on horseback, a man of arms." That meaning is true to the history of the noun, which traces back to the Late Latin word caballarius, meaning "horseman." By around 1600, it had also come to denote "a roistering, swaggering fellow." In the 1640s, English Puritans applied it disdainfully to their adversaries, the swashbuckling Royalist followers of Charles I, who sported longish hair and swords. Although some thought those cavaliers "several sorts of Malignant Men,… ready to commit all manner of Outrage and Violence," others saw them as quite suave—which may explain why cavalier can be either complimentary or a bit insulting.

Origin and Etymology of cavalier

see 1cavalier


First Known Use: circa 1641


CAVALIER Defined for English Language Learners

cavalier

adjective

Definition of cavalier for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing no concern for something that is important or serious


CAVALIER Defined for Kids

1

cavalier

play
noun cav·a·lier \ˌka-və-ˈlir\

Definition of cavalier for Students

  1. 1 :  a mounted soldier

  2. 2 :  a brave and courteous gentleman


2

cavalier

play
adjective cav·a·lier

Definition of cavalier for Students

  1. 1 :  easy and lighthearted in manner

  2. 2 :  having or showing no concern for a serious or important matter He has a cavalier attitude about money.



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