white knight


Definition of white knight

1 : one that comes to the rescue of another especially : a corporation invited to buy out a second corporation in order to prevent an undesired takeover by a third
2 : one that champions a cause

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Examples of white knight in a Sentence

a deserving cause in need of a charismatic white knight who will galvanize public support
Recent Examples on the Web This time around, YRC’s white knight could be the federal government. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Trucker YRC Seeks to Defer Millions in Benefits Payments," 18 June 2020 Unizo looked for white knights to come to its rescue. Shuli Ren | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Elliott and Blackstone Enter Hostile Territory in Japan," 14 Oct. 2019 Extra bases As white knights go, Steve Cohen has a few bruises. BostonGlobe.com, "Siwoff was a No. 1 source," 7 Dec. 2019 Yet if there is consensus around the high priority of finding the strongest candidate to take on Mr. Trump, there is less agreement among rank-and-file voters that the party needs a white knight to enter the race and rescue them. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "‘I’d Consider Anybody’: Democrats Like Their 2020 Candidates, and Yet ...," 9 Nov. 2019 O’Neill’s 20-year investigation reads like a thriller with overtones of Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer: its narrator cast as a white knight truth-seeker probing cold corruption amid sunlit glare. Stephen Phillips, latimes.com, "What really happened in the Manson murders? ‘Chaos’ casts doubt on Helter Skelter theory," 12 July 2019 Lohengrin is no longer the white knight of the Holy Grail who rides in on a swan to save Elsa, falsely accused of murdering her younger brother and heir to the throne of Brabant. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: How two top directors are teaching Europe the L.A. School of Opera," 23 Aug. 2019 Equally predictably, the white knights of outrage launch their counterassault catapults toward an overbroad range of targets and inflict extensive collateral damage. Danielle Allen, Twin Cities, "Danielle Allen: Don’t fall into Trump’s trap," 23 July 2019 Although the book is billed as the fifth installment in the Brodie series, the brooding, modern-day white knight isn't the protagonist of this alternately depressing, inspiring and slyly funny tale. Bruce Desilva, Dallas News, "A vile conspiracy is taken down in long-awaited novel 'Big Sky'," 25 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white 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 white knight

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for white knight

Time Traveler

The first known use of white knight was in 1628

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Statistics for white knight

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“White knight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20knight. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for white knight

white knight


English Language Learners Definition of white knight

: someone or something that rescues or saves another person or thing from a bad situation especially : a company that buys a second company in order to prevent it from being taken over by a third company

white knight


Legal Definition of white knight

: a party (as a corporation) invited to take over a corporation and thereby prevent its acquisition by another — compare raider

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