1 : mounted men-at-arms
2 : gallant or distinguished gentlemen
3 : the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood
4 : the qualities of the ideal knight : chivalrous conduct
Did You Know?
In days of old when knights were bold, Anglo-French speakers used the word chevaler (an ancestor of our word chevalier) for a knight or horseman. By the 14th century, English speakers had adopted the slightly modified spelling chivalry to describe their own well-armored, mounted warriors. Nowadays, when we say that chivalry is not dead, we are alluding to the high standard of character and conduct typically associated with gallant knights. If you trace chevaler back to Late Latin, you'll find that it derives from caballarius, which is also the ancestor of another term for a daring medieval gentleman-at-arms: cavalier.
"Coutts was founded in 1692. Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702 to 1714, commissioned it to make ornate ceremonial chains and badges for the knights of the Thistle, an order of chivalry." — Simon Clark and Phillipa Leighton-Jones, The Wall Street Journal, 15 Mar. 2018
"At the centre of the opera is Quixote's quest to retrieve the beautiful Dulcinea's stolen necklace from a gang of thieves. Quixote believes that if he can complete this act of chivalry, he will win her heart and hand in marriage." — Ben Neutze, Time Out Sydney (Australia), 21 Mar. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Unscramble the letters to create the name for the ceremony or salute conferring knighthood: LCDAEOCA.VIEW THE ANSWER
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