Dictionary.com Unabridged


a mounted soldier serving under a feudal superior in the Middle Ages.
(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.
any person of a rank similar to that of the medieval knight.
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.
a member of any order or association that designates its members as knights.
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.
a short vertical timber having on its head a sheave through which running rigging is rove.
any other fitting or erection bearing such a sheave.
verb (used with object)
to dub or make (a man) a knight.

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

knightless, adjective
unknighted, adjective

knight, night.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To knights
World English Dictionary
knight (naɪt)
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
6.  (tr) to make (a person) a knight; dub
[Old English cniht servant; related to Old High German kneht boy]

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
They painstakingly portrayed fair damsels and brave knights.
There is a sleeping loft, a ceiling crossed by wooden beams, paintings of
Chain-mail, the coats of interlinking rings that were worn by knights of old,
  provides a beautiful example.
Your weekly diversion is a little puzzle about four knights and four dragons.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature