pal·​a·​din | \ ˈpa-lə-dən How to pronounce paladin (audio) \

Definition of paladin

1 : a trusted military leader (as for a medieval prince)
2 : a leading champion of a cause

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In ancient Rome, the emperor's palace was located on the Palatine Hill, known as Palatium in Latin. Since the site was the seat of imperial power, the word palatium came to mean "imperial" and later "imperial official." Different forms of the word passed through Latin, Italian, and French, picking up various meanings along the way, and eventually some of those forms made their way into English. Paladin is one of the etymological heirs of palatium; another descendant is the word palace.

Examples of paladin in a Sentence

an idealistic paladin seeking better treatment for the homeless
Recent Examples on the Web One of our recent books has a trans man paladin on the cover. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 19 Oct. 2021 Samara is this universe’s approximation of a paladin, a Justicar. Jhaan Elker, Washington Post, 4 June 2021 But who was this paladin of the West going to protect civilization from? Kanishk Tharoor, The New Republic, 22 Feb. 2021 President Donald Trump, who has seized on the protests to recast himself as a paladin of order, said in tweet Tuesday afternoon that the incursion was reason to bring soldiers into the city. Max Abelson,, 3 June 2020 The more productive theater of the Chicken Sandwich War has played out among Twitter's paladins, with random users dragging Bojangles' and invoking the unassailable opinions of the ultimate chicken sandwich deciders: their grandmothers. Aj Willingham, CNN, 20 Aug. 2019 Her first character was a priest of Mystra in the 2nd Edition, and her favorite character is a 3.5 Edition half-dragon monk that is now a paladin. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, 5 Aug. 2018 In Book One: A Journey Through the Heavens, a hidden celestial kingdom faces its greatest adversary as a paladin from beyond the blue uncovers a secret that could unravel their very existence. Tara Knight, The Root, 13 May 2018 In short order, this and his agrarian subject matter combined with a national mood of restive nostalgia to make Wood a paladin—routinely yoked with the Missourian Thomas Hart Benton and the Kansan John Steuart Curry—of anti-modernist regionalism. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, 5 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paladin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of paladin

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paladin

Middle French, from Italian paladino, from Old French palatin, from Medieval Latin palatinus courtier, from Late Latin, imperial official — more at palatine

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The first known use of paladin was in 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Paladin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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