\ 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

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 vaccines have been the knight in shining armor during the COVID pandemic and a sign of the pharma industry’s ability to innovate, not all vaccines are succeeding during the outbreak. Fortune, "Health care’s access dilemma and lessons from Brainstorm Health," 29 Apr. 2021 Instead of sliding past the rook, the rule stated that the king could move two spaces once a game, or like a knight in some variants. Chazz Mair, Wired, "The Game of Chess Had Patch Notes, Too," 8 Mar. 2021 America’s poor who wandered the country have been called many things: tramp, hobo, bum, loafer, knight of the road. Austin Hewitt,, "Yesteryears: By any name, some of the many riding the rails and traveling the country wound up in Carroll County, often at the almshouse," 9 Apr. 2021 In order to cope with his obsession with COVID-19, teenage Dylan has created an imaginary and bumbling knight named Fear to battle his demons as well as a brainy character named Worry. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Family drama and comedy dominate well-produced Young Writers fest," 16 Mar. 2021 O’Grady hopes a return to performance — with a new character, a knight named Lancela — will help illuminate her previous work. Jillian Steinhauer, Vulture, "More than four decades into her trailblazing career, Lorraine O’Grady finally has the world’s attention.," 2 Mar. 2021 His most prestigious honor came nine years ago when he was installed as a knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem-Eastern Lieutenancy. Vincent T. Davis,, "East Side auto shop owner proud of service to his San Antonio community and rodeo," 25 Jan. 2021 The French Ministry of Culture anointed him a knight, or chevalier, of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985. Keith Spera,, "New Orleans avant-jazz saxophonist Kidd Jordan improvises his way to $50K fellowship," 3 Feb. 2021 Party members’ jobs, usually something like knight or warlock, are literally blue-collar jobs: the foreman of a construction company who wields an enormous war hammer and can summon a parade of workers to stampede the enemy. Wired Staff, Wired, "The Video Games WIRED Loved Most in 2020," 26 Dec. 2020 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about knight

Time Traveler for knight

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for knight

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Knight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!