A medieval knight.
- In the middle ages a knight was defined as a nobleman who served a king as a mounted man-of-arms; but today, a knight is used to refer to someone who has been honored by the monarch of England for their achievements.
- An example of a knight was Sir Lancelot, who was a knight in King Arthur's Court.
- An example of a knight is Sir Elton John, who was knighted by the Queen of England.
- The definition of knight is to give someone the honor of being called "knight."
When the queen of England honored Sir Elton John for his contributions to music and made him a "knight," this is an example of the Queen doing the act of knighting him.
- in the Middle Ages,
- a military servant of a king or other feudal superior; tenant holding land on condition that he serve his superior as a mounted man-at-arms
- later, a man, usually one of high birth, who after serving as page and squire was formally raised to special military rank and pledged to chivalrous conduct
- in Great Britain, a man who for some achievement is given honorary nonhereditary rank next below a baronet, entitling him to use Sir before his given name
- an ancient Roman, Athenian, etc. whose status is regarded as equivalent to that of a knight
- [usuallyK-] a member of any order or society that officially calls its members knights
- Old Poet.
- a lady's devoted champion or attendant
- a devoted follower of some cause, person, etc.
- Chess a piece usually shaped like a horse's head: it is moved two squares, whether occupied or unoccupied, in any vertical or horizontal direction, and then one square to the side
Origin of knightMiddle English kniht from Old English cniht, boy, retainer, akin to German knecht, lad, servant from Indo-European an unverified form gnegh-: for base see knead
- a. A medieval tenant giving military service as a mounted man-at-arms to a feudal landholder.b. A medieval gentleman-soldier, usually high-born, raised by a sovereign to privileged military status after training as a page and squire.c. A man holding a nonhereditary title conferred by a sovereign in recognition of personal merit or service to the country.
- A man belonging to an order or brotherhood.
- a. A defender, champion, or zealous upholder of a cause or principle.b. The devoted champion of a lady.
- Abbr. Kt or N Games A chess piece, usually in the shape of a horse's head, that can be moved two squares along a rank and one along a file or two squares along a file and one along a rank. The knight is the only piece that can jump other pieces to land on an open square.
transitive verbknight·ed, knight·ing, knights
Origin of knightMiddle English from Old English cniht
- A warrior, especially of the Middle Ages.
- King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
- A young servant or follower; a military attendant.
- Nowadays, a person on whom a knighthood has been conferred by a monarch.
- (chess) A chess piece, often in the shape of a horse's head, that is moved two squares in one direction and one at right angles to that direction in a single move, leaping over any intervening pieces.
- (card games, dated) A playing card bearing the figure of a knight; the knave or jack.
From Middle English knight, kniht, from Old English cniht, cneht, cneoht (“boy, youth, servant, attendant, retainer, disciple, warrior, boyhood, junior member of a guild”), from Proto-Germanic *knehtaz (compare Dutch knecht (“attendant, servant”), German Knecht (“lad, slave”)), originally ‘billet (wood), block of wood’ (compare Dutch laarzeknecht (“boot-jack”), dialectal German Knüchtel (“bat, club”), from Proto-Indo-European *gnegʰ-, from *gen- ‘to ball up, pinch, compress’.
(third-person singular simple present knights, present participle knighting, simple past and past participle knighted)
From Middle English knighten, kniȝten, from the noun. Cognate with Middle High German knehten.