Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A highly mobile army unit using vehicular transport, such as light armor and helicopters.
  • n. Troops trained to fight on horseback.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The military arm of service that fights while riding horses.
  • n. Branch of military transported by fast light vehicles, the mechanized cavalry.
  • n. An individual unit of the cavalry arm of service.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That part of military force which serves on horseback.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A class of soldiers who march and fight on horseback; that part of an army, or of any military force, which consists of troops that serve on horseback, as distinguished from infantry, or foot-soldiers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a highly mobile army unit
  • n. troops trained to fight on horseback

Etymologies

French cavalerie, from Italian cavalleria, from cavaliere, cavalier, from Old Italian; see cavalier.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French cavalerie, in turn from Italian cavalleria. Recorded in English from the 1540s. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I've had that happen too, cathari. Thanks to a friend of mine, to this day I have to think twice before mentioning NYC's Chrysler Building. She always called it the Chevrolet Building. :-)

    October 31, 2007

  • seanmeade: You know, I never had trouble with the difference when I was little, until my dad had told me so many times about his own tendency to mix them up that I started mixing them up as well. Confusion can be horribly contagious like that.

    October 31, 2007

  • Not to worry. I added a reference at yacht. Besides, how can you be confused? This is Wordie, where discussions can pop up darn near anywhere! :-)

    October 30, 2007

  • No matter. I just like the phrase "unfamiliar guttural spirant." :-)

    October 30, 2007

  • Wait! Why's this on the cavalry page and not the jaeger or yacht page?
    *is confused*

    October 30, 2007

  • Ooh, well... I like that about Dutch.

    Actually, though Dutch and German are closely related (as languages go--I don't mean that they're the same language, of course), "jacht" is a Dutch spelling/origin, and "jaeger" (I can't make umlauts on this computer very easily) is German.

    Hate to be a pooter parpy...

    October 30, 2007

  • Unfamiliar guttural spirant, eh? But then, what can you expect from a language which considers the letter sequence ijk to be legitimate? Rijksmuseum - a word which, quite frankly, triggers nauseum.

    October 30, 2007

  • Funny, sionnach--when I looked for the etymology of yacht, I found this in the OED Online: "Owing to the presence in the Dutch word of the unfamiliar guttural spirant denoted by g(h), the English spellings have been various and erratic; how far they represent varieties of pronunciation it is difficult to say." Then it lists these spellings: yeagh, yoath, yolke?, yaugh, yuaght, yought, y(e)aught, yaucht, jacht, yach, yacth, yat, yott, yatcht, yatch.

    Which really makes your head hurt if you read it too quickly.

    October 30, 2007

  • I think the jaegers would be on the jacht.

    October 30, 2007

  • Cavalry units captured at Yorktown and Gloucester included "Simcoe's and Tarleton's legions" and the "Hereditary Prince's regiment of horse."

    Simcoe and Tarleton were stationed at Gloucester, I believe, which is directly across the York River from Yorktown.

    (See also jaegers for a comment about the German-speaking troops with the British at Yorktown and Gloucester.)

    October 29, 2007

  • must remember difference between cavalry and Calvary ;-)

    March 26, 2007