pal·​a·​din ˈpa-lə-dən How to pronounce paladin (audio)
: a trusted military leader (as for a medieval prince)
: a leading champion of a cause

Did you know?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we know the site where it was founded: Palatine Hill (known as Palatium in Latin), site of the cave where Roman legend tells us Romulus and Remus were abandoned as infants, nursed by a she-wolf, and fed by a woodpecker before being found by a herdsman. In ancient Rome, the emperor’s palace was located on the Palatine Hill; since the site was the seat of imperial power, Latin palatium came to mean “imperial” as well as “palace.” From palatium came Latin palatinus, also meaning “imperial” and later “imperial official.” Different forms of these words passed through Latin, Italian, and French, picking up various meanings along the way, and eventually some of those forms made their way into English, including paladin and palace.

Examples of paladin in a Sentence

an idealistic paladin seeking better treatment for the homeless
Recent Examples on the Web Chris Pine's winning take on a bard is the driving force here, but Michelle Rodriguez's barbarian and (an underutilized) Regé-Jean Page's paladin steal plenty of scenes by really hewing true to their characters' alignment chart. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 25 Dec. 2023 Trump eventually retaliated, killing Iran’s irreplaceable regional paladin, Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. James F. Jeffrey, Foreign Affairs, 15 Jan. 2021 In fascinating detail, Clover tracks the way the jaundiced and largely bogus thinking of these three paladins has filtered into various Russian nationalist groups, Russian institutions (particularly the military), and even Putin’s own thinking. Charles Clover, Foreign Affairs, 9 Dec. 2016 The problem was audiences who weren’t well-versed in paladins, druids and bards mostly steered clear. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 27 June 2023 Regé-Jean Page as Xenk the Paladin Regé-Jean Page plays a paladin named Xenk. Adam England, Peoplemag, 18 Mar. 2023 Players design characters that can range from humans to elves to dwarves and beyond and then select a class such as paladin, fighter, ranger, barbarian or several others. Joe Otterson, Variety, 14 Apr. 2023 Regé-Jean Page and Chris Pine play a paladin and a bard, respectively, in the new Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie. Dana Rose Falcone, Peoplemag, 31 Mar. 2023 There's also Sophia Lillis' Doric, an eco-warrior druid, and Regé-Jean Page's Xenk, a paladin who does not traffic in colloquialisms. Nick Romano,, 29 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paladin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of paladin was in 1592


Dictionary Entries Near paladin

Cite this Entry

“Paladin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


pal·​a·​din ˈpal-əd-ən How to pronounce paladin (audio)
: a person who fights for a cause as a knight fought for a king in the Middle Ages
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