\ˈnīt \

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

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

Like the knights in the procession, the royals attending the ceremony dressed in a deep green velvet mantle with a white lining and star on the left side. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William's Super Ornate Outfit in Scotland Is Full of Royal Symbolism," 6 July 2018 The prince, and his aunt Princess Anne, accompanied the Queen, 92, for the service in Edinburgh as two new knights were installed in St. Giles’s Cathedral in Edinburgh city center. Simon Perry,, "Prince William Confidently Pulls Off Ostrich Feather Hat for Annual Knights Service in Scotland," 6 July 2018 For today's service, the royals celebrated the installment of two new knights into the Order by the Queen, People reports. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William's Super Ornate Outfit in Scotland Is Full of Royal Symbolism," 6 July 2018 Unlike so many recordings of English works from earlier generations of conductor-knights, with their whiff of patrician amateurism, Mr. Elder’s are distinguished by their preparation and refinement. David Allen, New York Times, "A Critic’s First Orchestra Defines Britain’s Musical Soul," 15 June 2018 Before the Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Winnipeg Jets, a pregame party featuring a drum line, archer, sword fight and knight slicing a jet was the talk of the town. Nihal Kolur,, "The Best of the Vegas Golden Knights Pre-Game Ceremonies," 21 May 2018 John Paul named him a knight commander of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great. Contributing Writer,, "He was considered the father of the offshore oil industry. Can you name him?," 16 May 2018 Every June, the queen, knights and ladies parade in their grand velvet robes and plumed hats in the Garter Day procession held here. Joanna Pocock,, "Watching the royal wedding on the telly? Here's what you need to know about St. George's Chapel and Windsor Castle," 13 May 2018 For the playoffs, the team has expanded the pregame festivities to include a huge knight's helmet that is lowered from the rafters in front of the Vegas bench. Regina Garcia Cano And W.g. Ramirez,, "Las Vegas has fallen in love with its Golden Knights," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 1999, he was made a Commander of the British Empire and was knighted in 2003. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Roger Moore's daughter shares memories of growing up with James Bond star," 10 July 2018 He’s now Sir Barry Gibb after Prince Charles knighted him at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London. Erin Ben-moche,, "Knight fever: It's now Sir Barry Gibb to you," 26 June 2018 Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish, 67, was also knighted for his services to soccer, charity and the city of Liverpool. Fox News, "Queen Elizabeth II to honor Emma Thompson, Tom Hardy and Keira Knightley at Buckingham Palace," 9 June 2018 Everyday heroes will be announced and knighted at the event. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Take a day trip to the past at Bristol Renaissance Faire," 25 June 2018 Former Liverpool soccer great Kenny Dalglish was also knighted, as was historian and broadcaster Professor Simon Schama. Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "Actress Emma Thompson made a dame in Queen's birthday honors list," 8 June 2018 Knighthood Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2017, the same year in which TIME named him one's 100 most influential people in the world. Steven Litt,, "Sir David Adjaye, designer of African-American museum, to keynote Cleveland Foundation annual meeting May 1," 18 Mar. 2018 The other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney, was knighted in 1997., "Drumroll Please: It’s Sir Ringo as Ex-Beatle Knighted," 20 Mar. 2018 The Baratheon side came out victorious, and King Robert knighted Ser Jorah as a result. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "All of the reunions and meetings in "Eastwatch," explained.," 15 Aug. 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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Phrases Related to knight

knight in shining armor

Statistics for knight

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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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 \

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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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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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