Definition of chivalry
1 : mounted men-at-arms
2 archaic a : martial valor b : knightly skill
3 : gallant or distinguished gentlemen
4 : the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood
5 : the qualities of the ideal knight : chivalrous conduct
Examples of chivalry in a sentence
the knight's code of chivalry
He paid her fare as an act of chivalry.
Did You Know?
In days of old when knights were bold, Anglo-French speakers used the word chevaler (an ancestor of our word chevalier) for a knight or horseman. By the 14th century, English speakers had adopted the slightly modified spelling "chivalry" to describe their own well-armored, mounted warriors. Nowadays, when we say that chivalry is not dead, we are alluding to the high standard of character and conduct typically associated with gallant knights. If you trace "chevaler" back to Late Latin, you'll find that it derives from "caballarius," which is also the ancestor of another term for a daring medieval gentleman-at-arms: "cavalier."
Origin and Etymology of chivalry
Middle English chivalrie, from Anglo-French chevalerie, from chevaler knight — more at chevalier
First Known Use: 14th century
CHIVALRY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of chivalry for English Language Learners
: the system of values (such as loyalty and honor) that knights in the Middle Ages were expected to follow
: an honorable and polite way of behaving especially toward women
CHIVALRY Defined for Kids
Definition of chivalry for Students
1 : the system, spirit, ways, or customs of knighthood
2 : very honorable and courteous behavior
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