che·​va·​lier ˌshe-və-ˈlir How to pronounce chevalier (audio)
especially for senses 1b and 2 also
shə-ˈval-ˌyā How to pronounce chevalier (audio)
: a member of any of various orders of knighthood or of merit (such as the Legion of Honor)
: a member of the lowest rank of French nobility
: a cadet of the French nobility
: a chivalrous man

Examples of chevalier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the chevalier’s apartment in Paris, where much of the movie is filmed, Murphy visited the Hotel le Peletier, a Baroque mansion in Paris, and the Château de Maisons-Laffitte in the suburbs of Paris. Camille Okhio, ELLE Decor, 26 Apr. 2023 He was made a chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1986, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988 and was elevated in 2001 to a Companion of Honor, a British distinction limited to 65 living people. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2022 But Widmaier-Picasso’s insight proves both singular and intimate through her stories of Maya, impressively decorated as a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres and a chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. Amy Verner, Vogue, 16 Apr. 2022 In 2008, he was named a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2022 France’s Ministry of Culture gave a French toast to Variety’s Steven Gaydos on Thursday, naming him a chevalier/knight for his decades of work in entertainment. Tim Gray, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 The French Ministry of Culture anointed him a knight, or chevalier, of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985. Keith Spera,, 3 Feb. 2021 He was promoted to commander of the French Legion of Honor, the third of five degrees of distinction, in 2008 after being named chevalier in 1993 and officer in 2002. Théophile Larcher,, 5 July 2020 The day after the Élysée meeting, Diane von Furstenberg was made a chevalier of France’s Legion D’Honneur, recognizing her contributions to culture and philanthropy. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, 2 Mar. 2020 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from French, "knight, young nobleman who has devoted himself to a lady, member of an order conferring knighthood or another honor," going back to Old French chevaler, chevalier "mounted soldier, knight," going back to Late Latin caballārius "horseback rider, groom" (early Medieval Latin also "serf performing duties on horseback, mounted soldier") — more at cavalier entry 2

Note: Old French and Anglo-French chevaler was borrowed into Middle English as chevaler, chivaler, but this word appears to have become obsolescent by the seventeenth century, and the current word represents a reborrowing from Modern French.

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of chevalier was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near chevalier

Cite this Entry

“Chevalier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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