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[shiv-uh l-ruh s] /ˈʃɪv əl rəs/
having the qualities of chivalry, as courage, courtesy, and loyalty.
considerate and courteous to women; gallant.
gracious and honorable toward an enemy, especially a defeated one, and toward the weak or poor.
Origin of chivalrous
1300-50; Middle English chevalrous < Middle French chevalerous, equivalent to chevalier chevalier + -ous -ous
Related forms
chivalrously, adverb
chivalrousness, noun
nonchivalrous, adjective
nonchivalrously, adverb
nonchivalrousness, noun
superchivalrous, adjective
superchivalrously, adverb
superchivalrousness, noun
unchivalrous, adjective
unchivalrously, adverb
unchivalrousness, noun
1. fearless, dauntless, valiant; courtly; faithful, true, devoted.
1. cowardly, rude, disloyal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unchivalrous
Historical Examples
  • I call it unchivalrous because it has been known to elide eulogies of enemy decency and enemy valour.

  • I'll be done with him for one,' added the unchivalrous friend.

    The Wrong Box Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne
  • He could not exult over her, for that would be unchivalrous; but would not her own conscience reproach her bitterly?

  • The rest lay upon the hillside,—some past help, and all exposed to the fire of an unchivalrous foe.

    The White Shield Myrtle Reed
  • Yielding to circumstances he accepted what he bluntly pronounced, ungenerous and unchivalrous terms.

    The Civil War Through the Camera Henry W. (Henry William) Elson
  • But he loved her, and he would have deemed it unchivalrous to let her feel now that their relation to one another had changed.

  • It was well that Miss Verbena Martin could not overhear their talk, which was unchivalrous and unfriendly in the extreme.

    The Happy Family Bertha Muzzy Bower
  • The inflated state of the unchivalrous middle, denominated Manchester, terrified him.

  • "You're welcome to all the good they may bring you, old boy," was Nicholas's unchivalrous retort.

    The Voice of the People Ellen Glasgow
  • The wrath against this unchivalrous wickedness increased mightily.

    Legends of the Rhine Wilhelm Ruland
British Dictionary definitions for unchivalrous


gallant; courteous
involving chivalry
Derived Forms
chivalrously, adverb
chivalrousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French chevalerous, 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 unchivalrous

1821, from un- (1) "not" + chivalrous. Related: Unchivalrously. Alternative unchivalric is recorded from 1851.



mid-14c., from Old French chevaleros "knightly, noble, chivalrous," from chevalier (see chevalier; also cf. chivalry). According to OED, obsolete in English and French from mid-16c. Not revived in French, but brought back in English late 18c. by romantic writers fond of medieval settings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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