cav·​al·​ry | \ ˈka-vəl-rē How to pronounce cavalry (audio) , nonstandard ˈkal-və-rē How to pronounce cavalry (audio) \
plural cavalries

Definition of cavalry

1a : an army component mounted on horseback
b : an army component moving in motor vehicles or helicopters and assigned to combat missions that require great mobility
2 : horsemen a thousand cavalry in flight

Examples of cavalry in a Sentence

Cavalry is used to perform reconnaissance. The cavalry were brought in to support the mission.

Recent Examples on the Web

For a red-state Republican in a tight election, these rolling visits are the arrival of the cavalry. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "A Senate Barnburner in Farm Country," 7 Sep. 2018 Swamp Fox,’ and his irregular cavalry force of 250 rout a party of Loyalists … at Port’s Ferry, South Carolina. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "A new home for House Power Rankings," 15 Aug. 2018 Lee, who would emerge as one of George Washington’s great cavalry officers, was also said to have been a master horseman at the age of 3. Alan Pell Crawford, WSJ, "‘Light-Horse Harry Lee’ Review: Wedded to His Sword," 3 Feb. 2019 This not only spooked and disabled horses, but forced the cavalry into muddy terrain or manmade obstacles. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 One exception was the long, cavalry-defeating spears that appear in both movies. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 Berlin in the 1870s: Young cavalry officers with time on their hands pick up pretty working girls for some fun, both sides knowing that this is not a serious relationship because class divisions make that impossible. Claire Tomalin, WSJ, "Five Best: Claire Tomalin on the Best Books About Family Trouble," 22 Nov. 2018 Camilla moved on and married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Camilla 'will be a great consort as queen,' says Queen Elizabeth's former press secretary," 15 Aug. 2018 She was born on the Wright-Warfield-Grimes family farm in Taylorsville, the daughter of William Earl Wright, who served in the U.S. cavalry during World War I, and Bessie Warfield Grimes Wright., "Mary Wright Zepp, retired Koppers factory worker, dies," 27 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of cavalry

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cavalry

Italian cavalleria cavalry, chivalry, from cavaliere

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Statistics for cavalry

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for cavalry

The first known use of cavalry was in 1546

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English Language Learners Definition of cavalry

: the part of an army that in the past had soldiers who rode horses and that now has soldiers who ride in vehicles or helicopters


cav·​al·​ry | \ ˈka-vəl-rē How to pronounce cavalry (audio) \
plural cavalries

Kids Definition of cavalry

: a unit of troops mounted on horseback or moving in motor vehicles

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More from Merriam-Webster on cavalry

Spanish Central: Translation of cavalry

Nglish: Translation of cavalry for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cavalry

Comments on cavalry

What made you want to look up cavalry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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