\ 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

Her male dancers coordinated with her by rocking the full knight get-up. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Missy Elliott Rocked The Superdome Friday Night In 3 Custom Looks," 6 July 2019 Although the chess pieces form almost four complete sets, BBC News points out that the group is missing one knight and four warders. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "A Long-Forgotten Medieval Chess Piece Potentially Worth $1.2 Million Languished in a Drawer for Decades," 5 June 2019 While Arthur’s knights have become mythic figures (and not always flatteringly so), who’s to say the Grail, even with all of its cultural mythos, might not be out there waiting for someone to find it? Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "4 Things That Might Be Easier Than Getting Donald Trump’s Tax Returns," 15 Apr. 2019 The girl is also looking to be become a knight herself. Johnny Diaz,, "Jazz Jennings, other celebs lend voices for new LGBTQ-friendly Hulu children’s series," 20 June 2019 Jim was involved in the community and was a volunteer firefighter and police officer, as well as a grand knight at the local Knights of Columbus council, Kirby said, while Jo was a stay-at-home mom. Breanne Kovatch,, "‘It’s a very loving relationship’: Meet the New Hampshire couple married for 72 years," 18 June 2019 The Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several senior members of the royal family, and 24 knights chosen in recognition of their work. Simon Perry,, "Kate Middleton Is Elegant in Black-and-White Look to Support Prince William at Order of the Garter," 17 June 2019 The teaser trailer, released on Thursday, is definitely gnarly: a knight shrieks in agony as his mortal form is pulverized and a more monstrous one takes his place. Nick Romano,, "Baldur's Gate III officially announced with gruesome teaser trailer," 6 June 2019 Famous Moves From Throughout History The Move That Made History Way back in 1455, a powerful knight in Bologna, Italy, was irked by the way the bell tower of the Santa Maria Maggiore church blocked the way to the city gate. Jennifer Hattam, Discover Magazine, "How Engineers Move Massive Structures Without Breaking Them," 11 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 He was knighted in France and in England and had 12 authoring doctorates. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How Sackler Became the Most Toxic Name in Philanthropy," 16 May 2019 See the stars who’ve managed to impress (bows down) Her Majesty The Beatle was knighted by Prince William for his contributions to music. Diana Pearl,, "Stars with Titles: A Who's Who of the Knights and Dames of Hollywood," 20 Mar. 2018 Lauren is expected to be knighted at a celebration in the New Year. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Ralph Lauren Receives an Honorary Knighthood From the United Kingdom," 14 Nov. 2018 Mark Rowley, former assistant commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service and a key figure in Britain's fight against terrorism, was knighted for his services to policing. Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "Actress Emma Thompson made a dame in Queen's birthday honors list," 8 June 2018

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

10 Jul 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

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characterized by aphorism

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