\ 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 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 China probably won't be the knight in shining armor this time. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "The strong dollar is hurting the global economy," 26 Oct. 2019 To pull the oars, all able-bodied Athenian men, including knights who normally did not serve in the navy, were called up. Mark Munn, The Conversation, "Massive spending in a crisis brought bloody consequences in ancient Athens," 17 Apr. 2020 With Lavinia still having her powers, there is no doubt a threat out there that will try to hurt the kingdom of Dagonaut which will cause her and the brand new knights to fight back. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "The Letter for the King" Season 2," 20 Mar. 2020 Welcome to the land of Dagonaut, where the bravest try to become knights in the middle of a fierce war that has taken over the land. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "The Letter for the King" Season 2," 20 Mar. 2020 Tiuri is one of many eager young pups competing to become knights in the kingdom of Dagonaut. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Letter for the King': TV Review," 20 Mar. 2020 At center stage is Tiuri (Amir Wilson), a young knight-in-training who becomes an unlikely player in the thousand-year war between the land of Eviellan and its neighboring northern kingdoms of Unauwen and Dagonaut. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to stream (and skip) on Netflix and Amazon Prime this weekend," 20 Mar. 2020 The woodwinds also flourished, demonstrating virtuosity in every variety of solo and ensemble passage, and the brass and timpani under his watch were knights in shining armor, leading one magnificent charge after another. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra delivers first-rate Bruckner Fifth with Herbert Blomstedt," 28 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Meanwhile, Sir Elton John, knighted back in 1998, has been made a Companion of Honour — a special award that is only held by 65 people at one time — for his achievements in music and extensive charity work. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, Steve McQueen, Sam Mendes, more receive new U.K. honors," 28 Dec. 2019 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2010 in recognition of his work toward reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally. Washington Post, "Founder of Bangladesh development organization BRAC dies," 21 Dec. 2019 Witty is former chancellor of the University of Nottingham, U.K., and was knighted in 2012 for services to the British economy. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Business People: Witty named UnitedHealth Group president," 17 Nov. 2019

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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Knight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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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