knighting

knight

[nahyt]
noun
1.
a mounted soldier serving under a feudal superior in the Middle Ages.
2.
(in Europe in the Middle Ages) a man, usually of noble birth, who after an apprenticeship as page and squire was raised to honorable military rank and bound to chivalrous conduct.
3.
any person of a rank similar to that of the medieval knight.
4.
a man upon whom the nonhereditary dignity of knighthood is conferred by a sovereign because of personal merit or for services rendered to the country. In Great Britain he holds the rank next below that of a baronet, and the title Sir is prefixed to the Christian name, as in Sir john smith.
5.
a member of any order or association that designates its members as knights.
6.
Chess. a piece shaped like a horse's head, moved one square vertically and then two squares horizontally or one square horizontally and two squares vertically.
7.
Nautical.
a.
a short vertical timber having on its head a sheave through which running rigging is rove.
b.
any other fitting or erection bearing such a sheave.
verb (used with object)
8.
to dub or make (a man) a knight.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English cniht boy, manservant; cognate with German, Dutch knecht servant

knightless, adjective
unknighted, adjective

knight, night.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
knight (naɪt)
 
n
1.  in medieval Europe
 a.  (originally) a person who served his lord as a mounted and heavily armed soldier
 b.  (later) a gentleman invested by a king or other lord with the military and social standing of this rank
2.  (in modern times) a person invested by a sovereign with a nonhereditary rank and dignity usually in recognition of personal services, achievements, etc. A British knight bears the title Sir placed before his name, as in Sir Winston Churchill
3.  a chess piece, usually shaped like a horse's head, that moves either two squares horizontally and one square vertically or one square horizontally and two squares vertically
4.  a heroic champion of a lady or of a cause or principle
5.  a member of the Roman class of the equites
 
vb
6.  (tr) to make (a person) a knight; dub
 
[Old English cniht servant; related to Old High German kneht boy]

Knight (naɪt)
 
n
Dame Laura. 1887--1970, British painter, noted for her paintings of Gypsies, the ballet, and the circus

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

knight
O.E. cniht "boy, youth, servant," common W.Gmc. (cf. O.Fris. kniucht, Du. knecht, M.H.G. kneht "boy, youth, lad," Ger. Knecht "servant, bondman, vassal"), of unknown origin. Meaning "military follower of a king or other superior" is from c.1100. Began to be used in a specific military sense in Hundred
Years War, and gradually rose in importance through M.E. period until it became a rank in the nobility 16c. The verb meaning "to make a knight of (someone)" is from c.1300. Knighthood is O.E. cnihthad "the period between childhood and manhood;" sense of "rank or dignity of a knight" is from c.1300. The chess piece so called from c.1440. Knight in shining armor is from 1965. Knights of Columbus, society of Catholic men, founded 1882 in New Haven; Knights of Labor, trade union association, founded in Philadelphia, 1869; Knights of Pythias, secret order, founded in Washington, 1864.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

knight definition


A mounted warrior in Europe in the Middle Ages. (See chivalry.)

Note: Over the centuries, knighthood gradually lost its military functions, but it has survived as a social distinction in Europe, especially in England.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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