from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A medieval tenant giving military service as a mounted man-at-arms to a feudal landholder.
  • noun A medieval gentleman-soldier, usually high-born, raised by a sovereign to privileged military status after training as a page and squire.
  • noun A man holding a nonhereditary title conferred by a sovereign in recognition of personal merit or service to the country.
  • noun A man belonging to an order or brotherhood.
  • noun A defender, champion, or zealous upholder of a cause or principle.
  • noun The devoted champion of a lady.
  • noun 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 verb To raise (a person) to knighthood.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To dub or create a knight; confer the honor of knighthood upon. The ceremony is regularly performed by touching the person on whom the dignity is conferred with a sword as he kneels. See accolade, 1.
  • noun A boy; a youth; a young man.
  • noun An attendant or servant; especially, a military attendant; a man-at-arms; a soldier.
  • noun Specifically In Europe during the middle ages, a person of noble birth trained to arms and chivalry, first as page and afterward as squire to the sovereign, or to some earl, baron, or other superior lord, to whom he attached himself, and whom he was bound to follow to war on horseback.
  • noun In Great Britain in modern times, a man upon whom a certain honorary dignity has been conferred by a sovereign as a reward of personal merit of some kind, without reference to birth or possessions, and in no way involving military service, which disappeared as a feature of knighthood with the other institutions of chivalry.
  • noun A champion; a warrior; especially, a champion devoted to the service of another; a defender.
  • noun One of the pieces in the game of chess, having usually the figure of a horse's head.
  • noun In card-playing, the knave or jack. Abbreviated knt., or in combination K. (as K. G., Knight of the Garter; K. C. B., Knight Commander of the Bath).
  • noun A branch of the fraternity of Freemasons in the United states, with an organization based upon that of the medieval order of the same name.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A young servant or follower; a military attendant.
  • noun engraving, engraving In feudal times, a man-at-arms serving on horseback and admitted to a certain military rank with special ceremonies, including an oath to protect the distressed, maintain the right, and live a stainless life.
  • noun engraving One on whom knighthood, a dignity next below that of baronet, is conferred by the sovereign, entitling him to be addressed as Sir; as, Sir John.
  • noun A champion; a partisan; a lover.
  • noun A piece used in the game of chess, usually bearing a horse's head.
  • noun obsolete A playing card bearing the figure of a knight; the knave or jack.
  • noun See under Carpet.
  • noun See Chevalier d'industrie, under Chevalier.
  • noun See Hospitaler.
  • noun one who gained his living by giving false evidence on trials, or false bail; hence, a sharper in general.
  • noun in England, one of the representatives of a county in Parliament, in distinction from the representatives of cities and boroughs.
  • noun different classes of the Order of the Bath.
  • noun [U. S.] a secret organization whose professed purpose is to secure and maintain the rights of workingmen as respects their relations to their employers.
  • noun a secret order, founded in Washington, D. C., in 1864, for social and charitable purposes.
  • noun knights belonging to an order which, according to the legendary accounts, was instituted by the mythical King Arthur. They derived their common title from the table around which they sat on certain solemn days.
  • transitive verb To dub or create (one) a knight; -- done in England by the sovereign only, who taps the kneeling candidate with a sword, saying: Rise, Sir ---.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A warrior, especially of the Middle Ages.
  • noun Nowadays, a person on whom a knighthood has been conferred by a monarch.
  • noun 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.
  • verb transitive To confer knighthood upon.
  • verb chess, transitive To promote (a pawn) to a knight.

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

  • noun a chessman shaped to resemble the head of a horse; can move two squares horizontally and one vertically (or vice versa)
  • noun originally a person of noble birth trained to arms and chivalry; today in Great Britain a person honored by the sovereign for personal merit
  • verb raise (someone) to knighthood


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

[Middle English, from Old English cniht.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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’.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English knighten, kniȝten, from the noun. Cognate with Middle High German knehten.


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  • In chess, it is a knight, not a "horsey".

    February 21, 2007

  • Noted.

    August 18, 2007

  • As in The Knights Who Say "Ni".

    October 7, 2007