knight of the shire

plural knights of the shire

Definition of knight of the shire

1 : a knight selected by the freeholders to represent a shire in the House of Commons especially in medieval times the knight of the shire was the connecting link between the baron and the shopkeeper— T. B. Macaulay
2 : a parliamentary representative from a shire or county as distinguished from a representative of a city or a borough the number of knights of the shire was increased to 159— T. E. May

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for knight of the shire

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about knight of the shire

Statistics for knight of the shire

Cite this Entry

“Knight of the shire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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