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 Potemkin became a celebrated cavalry commander during the Russo-Turkish war. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Grigory Potemkin and Catherine the Great Have One of History's Greatest Love Stories," 22 Oct. 2019 The town—which holds a Baptist church, cabinet shop, and a U.S. Post Office—used to be home to the Buffalo Soldiers, the only all African American cavalry unit in the Army. Georgia Slater,, "An Entire Town In Southern California Is for Sale (One Hour from San Diego!)," 11 Oct. 2019 But before the cavalry arrives, Lee is game to fight this battle alone. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Gemini Man Director Ang Lee Wants to Change the Way We See Movies," 10 Oct. 2019 According to multiple historic accounts, the last charge by a U.S. cavalry unit took place on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines on Jan. 16, 1942. Kevin Dayhoff,, "Dayhoff: Happy birthday to the Marines and Carroll County’s role in the history of the corps," 11 Nov. 2019 The rural community is known for being the final posting for the Buffalo Soldiers, the Army’s all African-American cavalry unit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "You can own Campo for $5.5 million," 13 Oct. 2019 The latter’s an especially big change, given cavalry’s largely been broken in every Total War since...well, ever. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Epic gives away six games at once, Rockstar tosses another launcher onto the fire," 20 Sep. 2019 He was wounded five times, captured three times (twice by J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry and once by Mosby’s Rangers), and exchanged three times in the long crusade. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Shall We Have Civil War or Second Thoughts?," 17 Aug. 2018 At the same time, an infantry regiment and a cavalry battalion that were instrumental in past coups have been ordered out of the capital. The Economist, "Relations between Thailand’s army and king are becoming one-sided," 5 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for cavalry

Time Traveler

The first known use of cavalry was in 1546

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Statistics for cavalry

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cavalry.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More Definitions for cavalry


How to pronounce cavalry (audio) How to pronounce cavalry (audio)

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 constrict the range or activity of

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