cav·​al·​ry ˈka-vəl-rē How to pronounce cavalry (audio)
ˈkal-və-rē How to pronounce cavalry (audio)
plural cavalries
: an army component mounted on horseback
: an army component moving in motor vehicles or helicopters and assigned to combat missions that require great mobility
: horsemen
a thousand cavalry in flight

Example Sentences

Cavalry is used to perform reconnaissance. The cavalry were brought in to support the mission.
Recent Examples on the Web The cavalry unit helped capture the strategic Bermuda Hundred and took part in the sieges of Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. Phil Gast, CNN, 30 Apr. 2023 His parents were George Marinich, a taxi driver and former White Army cavalry officer, and Lydia Globacheva, a Prince Matchabelli perfumery worker. Ethan Ehrenhaft, Baltimore Sun, 22 Mar. 2023 There’s no sign of cavalry coming to his aid, either: The Republican Governors Association, which is helping the party’s nominees in Arizona, Michigan, and six other states, has no current plans to assist Mastriano, according to people with knowledge of its deliberations. Reid J. Epstein,, 26 Sep. 2022 Also in 2017, archaeologists found cavalry barracks littered with swords, ink tablets, textiles, and arrowheads, among other artifacts. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 June 2022 But the cavalry also isn’t coming — not yet, anyway. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 How soon the cavalry will arrive remains an open question. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, 4 May 2023 If finnicky Churchill Downs fates cooperate the first Saturday in May during a cavalry charge of 19 other horses over a mile and a quarter, the unthinkable will become bricklayer perfect. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 May 2023 Police clashed with protesters at several sites, using water cannons, cavalry and other unusually aggressive tactics to push back thousands of demonstrators who blocked Ayalon Highway and who massed outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cavalry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


earlier cavallerie, borrowed from Middle French cavalerie, borrowed from Italian cavalleria, earlier cavalaria "group of soldiers on horseback, branch of arms made up of such soldiers," from cavalliere, cavaliere "horseback rider, mounted soldier" + -eria, borrowed from Middle French -erie -ery — more at cavalier entry 2

First Known Use

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of cavalry was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near cavalry

Cite this Entry

“Cavalry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


cav·​al·​ry ˈkav-əl-rē How to pronounce cavalry (audio)
plural cavalries
: troops mounted on horseback or moving in motor vehicles or helicopters

from Italian cavallerie "cavalry, chivalry," from cavaliere "cavalier, knight," derived from Latin caballarius "horseman," from earlier caballus "horse" — related to cavalier, chivalry see Word History at chivalry

More from Merriam-Webster on cavalry

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