\ ˈnīt How to pronounce knight (audio) \

Definition of knight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a mounted man-at-arms serving a feudal superior especially : a man ceremonially inducted into special military rank usually after completing service as page and squire
(2) : a man honored by a sovereign for merit and in Great Britain ranking below a baronet
(3) : a person of antiquity equal to a knight in rank
b : a man devoted to the service of a lady as her attendant or champion
c : a member of an order or society
2 : either of two pieces of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to make an L-shaped move of two squares in one row and one square in a perpendicular row over squares that may be occupied


knighted; knighting; knights

Definition of knight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a knight of

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Examples of knight in a Sentence


He was made a knight.


He is to be knighted by the Queen for his career as an actor.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lance-wielding knights bedecked in shining armor rubbed shoulders with all manner of elves and hobbits at the San Jose Renaissance & Fantasy Faire over the weekend. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "San Jose Renaissance and Fantasy Faire holds court downtown," 4 Aug. 2019 That whole dance number where the VKs battle enchanted knights is impressive, but again Boyce wins with Carlos’ swordplay. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "All of Cameron Boyce's best moments in Descendants 3," 3 Aug. 2019 Sir Ringo, one of the world's favorite knights of the rock 'n' roll table, turned 79 on Sunday. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Meet a Beatle — if you buy Ringo Starr's artwork from Oakland County Gallery," 12 July 2019 Given the showrunner’s Big Schadenfreude Energy, killing the most honorable knight in the Seven Kingdoms certainly seems plausible. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "Who Will Die Next on Game of Thrones, According to the Internet," 26 Apr. 2019 So the knight was going to have the structure demolished — until a young engineer, Aristotele Fioravanti, stepped up with a plan to relocate it instead. Jennifer Hattam, Discover Magazine, "How Engineers Move Massive Structures Without Breaking Them," 11 Mar. 2019 Elliott started her set in an all-black outfit with metal plates on her shoulders that resembled a knight. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Missy Elliott Rocked The Superdome Friday Night In 3 Custom Looks," 6 July 2019 Now the company returns with this world-premiere musical take on the children’s story about a brave mouse who dreams of becoming a knight. San Diego Union-Tribune, "11 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Mojalet Dance Collective, Tanabata Festival, ‘Rock of Ages’," 5 July 2019 Welcome back to a series of knights and knaves logic puzzles. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Riddle of the Week #44: Knights and Knaves, Part 2," 14 Dec. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The story goes this way: Norman knight Jean de Carrouges returns from war and accuses his squire and best friend, Jacques Le Gris, of raping his wife Marguerite de Carrouges. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s vexing new film: Co-starring as men suffering after a woman’s rape," 23 July 2019 Here, Craig-Martin, who was knighted for his services to art in 2016, opens up about his process for our peek inside the habits of a creative mastermind. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Artist Michael Craig-Martin Would Like Someone to Loan Him a Skyscraper," 25 Jan. 2019 Darroch is Sir Kim, having been knighted in 2008 for his service to country, and is admired by many for his rise from a humble upbringing in housing projects to the pinnacle of his profession. Laura King,, "Britain’s contest for prime minister roiled by Trump’s bare-knuckled attack on envoy to Washington," 9 July 2019 He was knighted in 2000, and was married for the second time in 2008, to Cristiana Sorrell, an Italian economist. David Segal, New York Times, "Martin Sorrell Wants to Build a New Ad Empire. Please Don’t Call It Revenge.," 1 July 2019 Ives, originally from northeast London and knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2012, has led Apple’s design team since the mid-1990s. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "Apple’s legendary designer Jony Ive is quitting for own firm with name inspired by Steve Jobs," 27 June 2019 Today is not only your graduation day, but also you knighting day. Camila Vallejo,, "Southington High School’s class of 2019 celebrates their ‘knighting day’," 13 June 2019 Three decades after knighting him, the British monarch upped the ante, awarding him an Order of Merit. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Looking Back at David Attenborough's Relationship with Queen Elizabeth and the Rest of the Royal Family," 4 Apr. 2019 Then, in 1984, both talking tree papers were picked apart by the eminent ecologist John Lawton (who was later knighted). Quanta Magazine, "The Secret Language of Plants," 16 Dec. 2013

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for knight


Middle English, from Old English cniht man-at-arms, boy, servant; akin to Old High German kneht youth, military follower

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Statistics for knight

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for knight

The first known use of knight was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for knight



English Language Learners Definition of knight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a soldier in the past who had a high social rank and who fought while riding a horse and usually wearing armor
: a man who is given a special honor and the title of Sir by the king or queen of England
: a chess piece shaped like a horse's head



English Language Learners Definition of knight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give (a man) the rank of a knight


\ ˈnīt How to pronounce knight (audio) \

Kids Definition of knight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a warrior of the Middle Ages who fought on horseback, served a king, held a special military rank, and swore to behave in a noble way
2 : a man honored for merit by a king or queen of England and ranking below a baronet
3 : one of the pieces in the game of chess

Other Words from knight

knightly adjective


knighted; knighting

Kids Definition of knight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to honor a man for merit by granting him the title of knight

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More from Merriam-Webster on knight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knight

Spanish Central: Translation of knight

Nglish: Translation of knight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knight for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about knight

Comments on knight

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


a period when something is suspended

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