What does Knight mean?

Definitions for Knight

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Knight.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. knightnoun

    originally a person of noble birth trained to arms and chivalry; today in Great Britain a person honored by the sovereign for personal merit

  2. knight, horseverb

    a chessman shaped to resemble the head of a horse; can move two squares horizontally and one vertically (or vice versa)

  3. knight, dubverb

    raise (someone) to knighthood

    "The Beatles were knighted"


  1. Knightnoun

    An English status surname for someone who was a mounted soldier.

  2. Etymology: knyghte from cniht, youth or servant

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. KNIGHTnoun

    Etymology: cniht, Sax. knecht, Germ. a servant, or pupil.

    That same knight ’s own sword this is of yore,
    Which Merlin made. Edmund Spenser.

    Sir knight, if knight thou be,
    Abandon this forestalled place. Edmund Spenser.

    When every case in law is right,
    No squire in debt, and no poor knight. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Pardon, goddess of the night,
    Those that slew thy virgin knight;
    For the which, with songs of woe,
    Round about her tomb they go. William Shakespeare.

    This knight; but yet why should I call him knight,
    To give impiety to this rev’rent stile. Samuel Daniel, Civil War.

    No squire with knight did better fit
    In parts, in manners, and in wit. Hudibras.

    The knight intends to make his appearance. Addison.

    He suddenly unties the poke,
    Which out of it sent such a smoke,
    As ready was them all to choke,
    So grievous was the pother;
    So that the knights each other lost,
    And stood as still as any post. Michael Drayton.

    Did I for this my country bring
    To help their knight against their king,
    And raise the first sedition? John Denham.

  2. To Knightverb

    To create one a knight, which is done by the king, who gives the person kneeling a blow with a sword, and bids him rise up sir.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Favours came thick upon him: the next St George’s day he was knighted. Henry Wotton.

    The lord protector knighted the king; and immediately the king stood up, took the sword from the lord protector, and dubbed the lord mayor of London knight. John Hayward.

    The hero William, and the martyr Charles,
    One knighted Blackmore, and one pension’d Quarles. Alexander Pope.


  1. Knight

    A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state (including the Pope) or representative for service to the monarch, the church or the country, especially in a military capacity. Knighthood finds origins in the Greek hippeis and hoplite (ἱππεῖς) and Roman eques and centurion of classical antiquity.In the Early Middle Ages in Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Often, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter or a bodyguard for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings. The lords trusted the knights, who were skilled in battle on horseback. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was closely linked with horsemanship (and especially the joust) from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century. This linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry, cavalier and related terms. In that sense, the special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Islamic world. The Crusades brought various military orders of knights to the forefront of defending Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land.In the Late Middle Ages, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many countries. Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I is often referred to as the "last knight" in this regard. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature, particularly the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, and the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several historically Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Spanish Order of Santiago, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, and the Order of St. Olav. There are also dynastic orders like the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the British Empire and the Order of St. George. In modern times these are orders centered around charity and civic service, and are no longer military orders. Each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is generally granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system, often for service to the Church or country. The modern female equivalent in the English language is Dame. Knighthoods and damehoods are traditionally regarded as being one of the most prestigious awards people can obtain.


  1. knight

    A knight is a historical figure of medieval Europe, often of noble birth, who served his sovereign or lord as a mounted soldier in armor, adhering to a code of chivalry that included loyalty, honor, and courage. In social hierarchy, knights were usually positioned between peasants and nobles. The term can also be used in a modern context to refer to someone who has been bestowed a honorific title by a monarch or other political leader for services to the country, particularly in a military capacity. Knight can also refer to a piece in the game of chess, usually represented as a horse's head.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Knightnoun

    a young servant or follower; a military attendant

  2. Knightnoun

    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

  3. Knightnoun

    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

  4. Knightnoun

    a champion; a partisan; a lover

  5. Knightnoun

    a piece used in the game of chess, usually bearing a horse's head

  6. Knightnoun

    a playing card bearing the figure of a knight; the knave or jack

  7. Knightverb

    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 ---

  8. Etymology: [OE. knight, cniht, knight, soldier, AS. cniht, cneoht, a boy, youth, attendant, military follower; akin to D. & G. knecht servant; perh. akin to E. kin.]


  1. Knight

    A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch or other political leader for service to the monarch or country, especially in a military capacity. Historically, in Europe, knighthood has been conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Since the Early Modern period, the title of knight is purely honorific, usually bestowed by a monarch, as in the British honours system, often for non-military service to the country. Historically, the ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature, especially the Matter of Britain and Matter of France, the former based on Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written in the 1130s. Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, written in 1485, was important in defining the ideal of chivalry which is essential to the modern concept of the knight as an elite warrior sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage, and honour. During the Renaissance, the genre of chivalric romance became popular in literature, growing ever more idealistic and eventually giving rise to a new form of realism in literature popularised by Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote. This novel explored the ideals of knighthood and their incongruity with the reality of Cervantes' world. In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Knight

    nīt, n. one of gentle birth and bred to arms, admitted in feudal times to a certain honourable military rank: (Shak.) an attendant: a champion: the rank, with the title 'Sir,' next below baronets: a piece used in the game of chess.—v.t. to create a knight.—ns. Knight′age, the collective body of knights; Knight′-bach′elor, one who has been knighted merely, not made a member of any titular order; Knight′-bann′eret, a knight who carried a banner, and who was superior in rank to the knight-bachelor; Knight′-err′ant, a knight who travelled in search of adventures; Knight′-err′antry; Knight′hood, the character or privilege of a knight: the order or fraternity of knights; Knight′hood-err′ant (Tenn.), the body of knights-errant.—adj. Knight′less (Spens.), unbecoming a knight.—n. Knight′liness, the bearing or duties of a knight.—adj. and adv. Knight′ly.—ns. Knight′-mar′shal, formerly an officer of the royal household; Knight′-serv′ice, tenure by a knight on condition of military service.—Knight of industry, a footpad, thief, or sharper; Knight of the carpet, a civil knight, as opposed to a military, so called because created kneeling on a carpet, not the field; Knight of the pestle, an apothecary; Knight of the post, one familiar with the whipping-post or pillory; Knight of the road, a highwayman; Knight of the shire, a member of parliament for a county; Knight's fee, the amount of land with which a knight was invested on his creation; Knights of Labour, in the United States, a national labour organisation; Knights of Malta (see Hospitaller); Knights of St Crispin, shoemakers; Knights of the rainbow, flunkeys from their liveries; Knights of the shears, tailors; Knights of the spigot, tapsters, publicans; Knights of the stick, compositors; Knights of the whip, coachmen; Knights Templars (see Templar). [A.S. cniht Ger. and Dut. knecht, Dan. knegt.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. knight

    From the Saxon cniht, a servant or attendant, was originally a man-at-arms bound to the performance of certain duties, among others to attend his sovereign or feudal superior on horseback in time of war. The institution of knighthood, as conferred by investiture, and with certain oaths and ceremonies, arose gradually throughout Europe as an adjunct of the feudal system. The character of the knight was at once military and religious; the defense of the Holy Sepulchre and the protection of pilgrims being the objects to which, in early times of the institution, he especially devoted himself The system of knight-service introduced into England by William the Conqueror empowered the king, or even a superior lord who was a subject, to compel every holder of a certain extent of land, called a knight’s fee, to become a member of the knightly order; his investiture being accounted proof that he possessed the requisite knightly arms, and was sufficiently trained in their use. After the long war between France and England, it became the practice for the sovereign to receive money compensations from subjects who were unwilling to receive knighthood, a system out of which grew a series of grievances, leading eventually to the total abolition of knight-service in the reign of Charles II. Since the abolition of knight-service, knighthood has been conferred, without any regard to property, as a mark of the sovereign’s esteem, or a reward for services of any kind, civil or military. The ceremonies practiced in conferring knighthood have varied at different periods. In general, some religious ceremonies were performed, the sword and spurs were bound on the candidate; after which a blow was dealt him on the cheek or shoulder, as the last affront which he was to receive unrequited. He then took an oath to protect the distressed, maintain right against might, and never by word or deed to stain his character as a knight and a Christian. A knight might be degraded for the infringement of any part of his oath, in which case his spurs were chopped off with a hatchet, his sword was broken, his escutcheon reversed, and some religious observances were added, during which each piece of armor was taken off in succession, and cast from the recreant knight. For the different orders of knighthood, see separate articles, under their appropriate headings, in this work.

Editors Contribution

  1. knightnoun

    The King's soldier and general inspector of electric and high tension. 1.) A man who served his sovereign or lord as a mounted soldier in armor.

    I am forever a knight for El Shaddai.

    Etymology: Saint

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on March 14, 2024  

Suggested Resources

  1. knight

    Song lyrics by knight -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by knight on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. Knight

    Night vs. Knight -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Night and Knight.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Knight

    From the Saxon knicht, a servant, which is the origin also of the modern German knecht, a man-servant.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Knight is ranked #209 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Knight surname appeared 136,713 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 46 would have the surname Knight.

    72.3% or 98,857 total occurrences were White.
    21.6% or 29,544 total occurrences were Black.
    2.5% or 3,418 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.1% or 2,967 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.9% or 1,230 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 711 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Knight' in Nouns Frequency: #2651

How to pronounce Knight?

How to say Knight in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Knight in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Knight in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of Knight in a Sentence

  1. Donald Trump:

    Shahira Knight has done a wonderful job as my legislative affairs director. Shahira Knight was outstanding for us and for our country and will be a tremendous success in the private sector.

  2. Ted Cruz:

    This fevered pipe dream of Washington that at the convention they would parachute in some white knight who will save the Washington establishment, it is nothing less than a pipe dream, it ai n’t gon na happen. If it did happen, the people would quite rightly revolt. Senator Cruz only bolstered his case that he's gaining momentum in the battle against front-runner Trump with his Wisconsin victory. He scored 48 percent of the vote to Trump's 35 percent, and picked up the lion's share of the state's delegates. Ohio Gov. John Kasich trailed far behind. The race heads next, though, to New York state where Trump has a commanding lead in the polls. The criticism of having ties to the establishment is an unusual one for Cruz -- who has portrayed himself as an outsider fighting against what he calls.

  3. The Batman:

    ' The Batman' presents a muscular vision of the Dark Knight that hardcore fans have long desired.

  4. Ralph King:

    The plan either way is send a message to the Republican establishment to respect Several Trump supporters votes, if the party tries to parachute in a white knight to steal the nomination, it's not going to end well.

  5. Ingrid Weir:

    As a kid, I dreamed of a knight in shining armor coming to rescue me. Now, I just dream of equal pay for equal work.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Knight

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"Knight." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Knight>.

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