chiv·​al·​rous | \ ˈshi-vəl-rəs How to pronounce chivalrous (audio) \

Definition of chivalrous

1 : valiant chivalrous warriors
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of chivalry and knight-errantry a chivalrous quest
3a : marked by honor, generosity, and courtesy appreciated the chivalrous acts of the general
b : marked by gracious courtesy and high-minded consideration especially to women A chivalrous man offered the woman his seat on the crowded bus.

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Other Words from chivalrous

chivalrously adverb
chivalrousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for chivalrous

civil, polite, courteous, gallant, chivalrous mean observant of the forms required by good breeding. civil often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness. owed the questioner a civil reply polite commonly implies polish of speech and manners and sometimes suggests an absence of cordiality. if you can't be pleasant, at least be polite courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness. clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers gallant and chivalrous imply courteous attentiveness especially to women. gallant suggests spirited and dashing behavior and ornate expressions of courtesy. a gallant suitor of the old school chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior. a chivalrous display of duty

Examples of chivalrous in a Sentence

a kind and chivalrous man still engages in chivalrous behavior, such as holding doors for people
Recent Examples on the Web Gone with the Wind, which, with its portraits of buoyant, slavery-loving enslaved people and chivalrous Confederate officers, won the Pulitzer. Benjamin Nugent, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 This narrative — which paints men as entirely altruistic, selfless, even chivalrous for supporting women — is simply false. Ellevate, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2021 People from poorer countries were less inclined to run down jaywalkers; those from high-inequality countries were more deferential to people with briefcases; and those from gender-equal countries were more chivalrous to women. George Musser, Scientific American, 24 Oct. 2018 As a Knight of Columbus, Andrew perfected a chivalrous task: Knights protect the weak. Nr Symposium, National Review, 6 Dec. 2020 Romantic comedies — and predatory men — have all but ruined the chivalrous gesture. Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2020 For years, Maye escaped into fantasy worlds where men didn’t abuse women, where men were caring and chivalrous and gentle. Hallie Lieberman, Wired, 11 June 2020 The virtual date started with the chivalrous gesture of flowers delivered to Haddish’s door, followed by some laughs and a deep conversation about their goals in life. Jasmine Grant, Essence, 23 Apr. 2020 The glimmer of hope, suggested by Ai’ai’s final chivalrous act and by her seeming solidarity with Zhou’s wife, is too faint to lift the grim sky of the film. Jiwei Xiao, The New York Review of Books, 14 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chivalrous.' 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 chivalrous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chivalrous

Middle English chivalerous, chevalrous, chyvalrous "excelling in warfare, valiant, exemplifying the ideals of chivalry," borrowed from Anglo-French chevalerus, chevalrous (continental Old French chevalerous), from chevalerie "body of knights serving an overlord, chivalry" + -us, -ous -ous

Note: As noted by the Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, chivalrous was apparently obsolescent by the mid-eighteenth century; Samuel Johnson, in his dictionary (1755), has only a citation from Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1590) and remarks "a word now out of use." It was revived in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by Romanticism and a renewed interest in the Middle Ages. The pronunciation of this word and chivalry with \sh\ rather than \ch\, as if they were taken from Modern French, presumably arose at that period.

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Time Traveler for chivalrous

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chivalrous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for chivalrous



English Language Learners Definition of chivalrous

: behaving in an honorable or polite way especially toward women
: showing respect and politeness especially toward women


chiv·​al·​rous | \ ˈshi-vəl-rəs How to pronounce chivalrous (audio) \

Kids Definition of chivalrous

1 : of or relating to a knight or knighthood chivalrous adventures
2 : having or showing honor, generosity, and courtesy a chivalrous and kind man
3 : showing special courtesy and regard to women chivalrous behavior


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