Definitions

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

  • n. The medieval system, principles, and customs of knighthood.
  • n. The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.
  • n. A manifestation of any of these qualities.
  • n. A group of knights or gallant gentlemen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Cavalry; horsemen armed for battle.
  • n. The fact or condition of being a knight; knightly skill, prowess.
  • n. The ethical code of the knight prevalent in Medieval Europe, having such primary virtues as mercy towards the poor and oppressed, humility, honor, sacrifice, fear of God, faithfulness, courage and utmost graciousness and courtesy to ladies.
  • n. Courtesy, respect and honorable conduct between opponents in wartime.
  • n. Courteous behavior, especially that of men towards women.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A body or order of cavaliers or knights serving on horseback; illustrious warriors, collectively; cavalry.
  • n. The dignity or system of knighthood; the spirit, usages, or manners of knighthood; the practice of knight-errantry.
  • n. The qualifications or character of knights, as valor, dexterity in arms, courtesy, etc.
  • n. A tenure of lands by knight's service; that is, by the condition of a knight's performing service on horseback, or of performing some noble or military service to his lord.
  • n. Exploit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Knighthood; the medieval system of military privileges, with its peculiar honorary titles and aristocratic limitations of honorable position to the possessors of those titles, founded upon the several degrees of military service rendered on horseback. See knight.
  • n. That which pertains to knighthood; the usages and customs pertaining to the order of knighthood; the ideal qualifications of a knight, collectively, as courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms; the ideal of knighthood.
  • n. A knightly adventure, exploit, or mode of action.
  • n. An order or a body of knights; knights or warriors collectively; any company of illustrious warriors.
  • n. In English law, a tenure of lands by knight's service—that is, by the condition of performing service on horseback, or of performing some noble or military service to the lord. See knight-service and tenure.

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

  • n. courtesy towards women
  • n. the medieval principles governing knighthood and knightly conduct

Etymologies

Middle English chivalrie, from Old French chevalerie, from chevalier, knight; see chevalier.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English chivalrie, a late 13th century loan from Old French word chevalerie, "knighthood, chivalry, nobility, cavalry" (11th century), the -erie abstract of chevaler "knight, horseman", from Medieval Latin caballarius ("horseman, knight"), a derivation from caballus ("horse"). Medieval Latin caballaria ("knighthood, status or fief of a knight") dates to the 12th century. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Why thank you, kind sir.

    September 5, 2008

  • *holds door open for bilby after covering mud puddle with overcoat*

    September 5, 2008

  • Only listed 9 times! It's almost dead ...

    September 5, 2008

  • Rules of polite and honorable behavior that knights (gentlemen) were supposed to follow. It did not originally mean courtesy solely toward women. From chevalier.

    August 24, 2008