à cheval

à che·​val | \ ˌä-shə-ˈväl How to pronounce à cheval (audio) \

Definition of à cheval

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : with a leg on each side : astride
2 : in such a way as to be played or chanced simultaneously on two numbers or events (as in roulette)


noun (1)
che·​val-de-frise | \ shə-ˌval-də-ˈfrēz How to pronounce cheval-de-frise (audio) \
plural chevaux-de-frise\ shə-​ˌvō-​də-​ˈfrēz How to pronounce chevaux-de-frise (audio) \

Definition of cheval-de-frise (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : a defense consisting typically of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire
2 : a protecting line (as of spikes) on top of a wall usually used in plural

cheval glass

noun (2)
che·​val glass | \ shə-ˈval- How to pronounce cheval glass (audio) \

Definition of cheval glass (Entry 3 of 5)

: a full-length mirror in a frame in which it may be tilted

cheval de bataille

French noun phrase
che·​val de ba·​taille | \ shə-väl-də-bä-täʸ How to pronounce cheval de bataille (audio) \

Definition of cheval de bataille (Entry 4 of 5)

: warhorse : hobbyhorse : argument constantly relied on : favorite subject : signature performance piece : forte

pas de cheval

noun (3)
pas de che·​val | \ -shəˈval\
plural pas de cheval

Definition of pas de cheval (Entry 5 of 5)

: a ballet step resembling the pawing of a horse

First Known Use of à cheval


1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for à cheval


borrowed from French, literally, "on horseback"

Noun (1)

French, literally, horse from Friesland

Noun (2)

French cheval horse, support

Noun (3)

French, literally, horse's step

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about à cheval

Dictionary Entries near à cheval




à cheval




Statistics for à cheval

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for à cheval

The first known use of à cheval was in 1668

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on à cheval

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with à cheval

Comments on à cheval

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


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!