\ 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

Noun He was made a knight. Verb He is to be knighted by the Queen for his career as an actor.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jason’s most recent column concerned a suggestion by some local pol that a knight in private-citizen armor buy Paul Brown Stadium. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Mask defiance isn't bringing college football back on Saturdays," 9 July 2020 The tram, gliding 300 feet above the vineyards, transports visitors to the grand white stucco winery, founded in 1965 by a British knight named Sir Peter Newton. Chris Macias,, "Sterling Vineyards’ tram and tasting are quintessential Napa," 22 June 2020 The animated stop-motion series follows a peasant named Patrick who dreams of being a knight within a kingdom filled with depravity that challenges his goal. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Friday: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ on Netflix," 12 June 2020 Traditionally, a knight kneels before the queen — or another senior royal — and has a sword placed on the right, then the left shoulder. NBC News, "Hero fundraiser Capt. Tom knighted — but no word yet on official ceremony," 21 May 2020 Yet is Don Quixote any less noble, any less courageous, any less a knight, for being a fool? Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Unsuitable Passions of J.M. Coetzee," 18 May 2020 The four-part finale, airing on the streaming service Disney+, has largely charted those events from the perspective of Ahsoka Tano (voiced by Ashley Eckstein), the padawan to Anakin Skywalker's Jedi knight. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' meets 'Revenge of the Sith' in final episodes," 1 May 2020 Arman is one of the novices that tries to become a knight along with Tiuri and Iona. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast of "The Letter For The King" and Their Characters," 24 Mar. 2020 While there is a literal knight in shining armor in this movie, Brooke never actually needs him. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "There’s a Reason Holiday Rom-Coms Like The Knight Before Christmas Are So Satisfying," 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Also, a 100-year-old former British army officer who raised $40 million for Britain’s National Health Service will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Isabella Kwai, New York Times, "Coronavirus Inquiry, E.U. Fund, Cyclone Amphan: Your Wednesday Briefing," 20 May 2020 He has also been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his chemical endeavors. Jessica Chia, Allure, "Beautiful Minds: The Geniuses Behind Some of the Most Innovative New Skin-Care Brands," 29 Apr. 2020 Dalglish was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2018 for services to football and charity. CNN, "Kenny Dalglish released from hospital after positive coronavirus test," 12 Apr. 2020 At the age of ninety-three, Wodehouse was finally knighted. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, "Wartime for Wodehouse," 25 May 2020 Tom knighted — but no word yet on official ceremony The 100-year-old hero fundraiser, Capt. NBC News, "Hero fundraiser Capt. Tom knighted — but no word yet on official ceremony," 21 May 2020 To thank them for saving her kingdom, Queen Alianor (Emilie Cocquerel) knighted the young novices as Lavinia looked on. Jean Bentley,, "Letter for the King," 20 Mar. 2020 So to be anointed in that way is like getting a blessing from the Pope or being knighted by the Queen. Dalton Ross,, "Walking Dead," 25 Nov. 2019 An archaeology student in the 1970s and a diver who spends his spare time on nautical archaeology projects, he was knighted by Spain in 1999 for his efforts in this case. Chad Lewis, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Shipwreck Off Florida’s Coast Pits Archaeologists Against Treasure Hunters," 30 Apr. 2017

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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Time Traveler for knight

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for knight

Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Knight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for knight


How to pronounce knight (audio)

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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