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chivalry

[shiv-uh l-ree] /ˈʃɪv əl ri/
noun, plural chivalries for 6.
1.
the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.
2.
the rules and customs of medieval knighthood.
3.
the medieval system or institution of knighthood.
4.
a group of knights.
5.
gallant warriors or gentlemen:
fair ladies and noble chivalry.
6.
Archaic. a chivalrous act; gallant deed.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English chivalrie < Anglo-French, Old French chevalerie, equivalent to chevalier chevalier + -ie -y3
Related forms
unchivalry, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for chivalry
  • Capacity for friendship does not even suggest his chivalry in two senses-toward individuals and to letters.
  • Smile, pardner, when you say that the old border desperadoes lacked chivalry.
  • For those fascinated with days when chivalry ruled, the festival offers a setting as authentic as it gets.
  • His longtime fascination with the era of castles, chivalry, magic and mysticism is opening up an unexpected second career.
  • Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead.
  • They are proud of the castles, and of the language and symbol of chivalry.
  • Their aim is to point to the more masculine elements of medieval chivalry.
  • In later times, fiction and drama greatly romanticized the reputed chivalry of this period.
  • He presented himself and your department with honor and chivalry.
  • Even in war, there are times when chivalry prevails.
British Dictionary definitions for chivalry

chivalry

/ˈʃɪvəlrɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage, honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak
2.
courteous behaviour, esp towards women
3.
the medieval system and principles of knighthood
4.
knights, noblemen, etc, collectively
Derived Forms
chivalric, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French chevalerie, from chevalier
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chivalry
n.

c.1300, "body or host of knights; knighthood in the feudal social system; bravery in war, warfare as an art," from Old French chevalerie "knighthood, chivalry, nobility, cavalry, art of war," from chevaler "knight," from Medieval Latin caballarius "horseman," from Latin caballus "nag, pack-horse" (see cavalier). From late 14c. as "the nobility as one of the estates of the realm," also as the word for an ethical code emphasizing honor, valor, generosity and courtly manners. Modern use for "social and moral code of medieval feudalism" probably is an 18c. historical revival.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chivalry in Culture

chivalry definition


The methods of training and standards of behavior for knights in the Middle Ages. The code of chivalry emphasized bravery, military skill, generosity in victory, piety, and courtesy to women. (Compare courtly love.)

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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