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) \

Definition of chevalier

b : a member of any of various orders of knighthood or of merit (such as the Legion of Honor)
2a : a member of the lowest rank of French nobility
b : a cadet of the French nobility
3 : a chivalrous man

Examples of chevalier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Clark is beloved in France, having received the Grand Prix de Literature Policière in 1980, as well as being named a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2000 by the French minister of culture. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 1 Feb. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of chevalier

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

History and Etymology for chevalier

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.

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

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Last Updated

24 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chevalier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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