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 It’s like the cavalry coming to relieve the troops! Hillel Italie, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Jan. 2022 The Bulls continued to shake off the rust Monday in a 133-118 win over the Houston Rockets at the United Center, improving to 19-10 with one game remaining until the possible return of the cavalry next week. Paul Sullivan,, 21 Dec. 2021 There are decorative bronze pendants from a bridle used by a cavalry officer, and a delicate doll’s leg, made out of bone, that was once played with by a child. Nick Squires, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Oct. 2021 Horses served in two ways: pulling guns, supply wagons and other vehicles; and as saddle horses for daily use by officers and in rare occasions as cavalry horses in battle. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 19 Nov. 2021 Toward the end of the 19th century, Fort Wingate welcomed a new set of residents: Buffalo Soldiers from all-Black cavalry and infantry regiments tasked with maintaining order along the Western frontier. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Nov. 2021 The cavalry is expected to bring help for the offense with star running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), receiver Sterling Shepard (quad) and tackle Andrew Thomas (ankle) close to returning from injuries. Tom Canavan,, 9 Nov. 2021 In June 1863, 5,000 Union cavalry rode by the church on their way to Gettysburg. David Buie,, 23 Oct. 2021 In fact, when Warburg insisted on joining a cavalry unit during World War I, Einstein coaxed him into resigning, by arguing that Warburg was far too brilliant to risk getting killed. Sam Kean, WSJ, 15 June 2021

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

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

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Time Traveler for cavalry

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The first known use of cavalry was in 1546

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Dictionary Entries Near cavalry



cavalry bone

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Statistics for cavalry

Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cavalry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on cavalry

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


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