What does cavalier mean?

Definitions for cavalier
ˌkæv əˈlɪər, ˈkæv əˌlɪərcav·a·lier

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cavalier, chevaliernoun

    a gallant or courtly gentleman

  2. Cavalier, Royalistadjective

    a royalist supporter of Charles I during the English Civil War

  3. cavalier, high-handedadjective

    given to haughty disregard of others


  1. Cavalieradjective

    offhand; unceremonious; gay; easy; frank. Opposed to serious.


  1. cavaliernoun

    A military man serving on horse.

  2. cavaliernoun

    A sprightly, military man; hence, a gallant.

  3. cavaliernoun

    One of the court party in the time of King Charles I, as contrasted with a Roundhead or an adherent of Parliament.

  4. cavaliernoun

    A work of more than ordinary height, rising from the level ground of a bastion, etc., and overlooking surrounding parts.

  5. cavaliernoun

    A well mannered man; a gentleman.

  6. cavalieradjective

    Not caring enough about something important.

    The very dignified officials were confused by his cavalier manner.

  7. cavalieradjective


  8. cavalieradjective

    Supercilious; haughty; disdainful; curt; brusque.

  9. cavalieradjective

    Of or pertaining to the party of King Charles I.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Cavalieradjective

    Etymology: from the subst.

    The people are naturally not valiant, and not much cavalier. Now it is the nature of cowards to hurt, where they can receive none. John Suckling.

  2. CAVALIERnoun

    Etymology: cavalier, Fr.

    For who is he, whose chin is but enrich’d
    With one appearing hair, that will not follow
    These cull’d and choice drawn cavaliers to France? William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Each party grows proud of that appellation, which their adversaries at first intend as a reproach: of this sort were the Guelfs and Gibelines, Hugenots, and Cavaliers. Jonathan Swift.


  1. Cavalier

    The term "Cavalier" () was first used by Roundheads as a term of abuse for the wealthier royalist supporters of King Charles I and his son Charles II of England during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration (1642 – c. 1679). It was later adopted by the Royalists themselves. Although it referred originally to political and social attitudes and behaviour, of which clothing was a very small part, it has subsequently become strongly identified with the fashionable clothing of the court at the time. Prince Rupert, commander of much of Charles I's cavalry, is often considered to be an archetypal Cavalier.


  1. cavalier

    A cavalier is a term that can be used in several contexts with slightly different meanings. It primarily refers to a gallant or courtly gentleman, particularly a knight, during the historical period of Cavaliers in 17th-century Britain. It can also describe a supportive follower of King Charles I of England during the English Civil War. In a more general sense, the term cavalier can also be used to describe a carefree, nonchalant, or casual behavior, showing lack of proper concern or disregard for something. It can also refer to a specific breed of dog, the 'Cavalier King Charles Spaniel'. Thus, the exact meaning depends on the context in which the term is being used.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cavaliernoun

    a military man serving on horseback; a knight

  2. Cavaliernoun

    a gay, sprightly, military man; hence, a gallant

  3. Cavaliernoun

    one of the court party in the time of king Charles I. as contrasted with a Roundhead or an adherent of Parliament

  4. Cavaliernoun

    a work of more than ordinary height, rising from the level ground of a bastion, etc., and overlooking surrounding parts

  5. Cavalieradjective

    gay; easy; offhand; frank

  6. Cavalieradjective


  7. Cavalieradjective

    supercilious; haughty; disdainful; curt; brusque

  8. Cavalieradjective

    of or pertaining to the party of King Charles I

  9. Etymology: [F. cavalier, It. cavaliere, LL. caballarius, fr. L. caballus. See Cavalcade, and cf. Chevalier, Caballine.]


  1. Cavalier

    Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and his son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration. Prince Rupert, commander of much of Charles I's cavalry, is often considered an archetypical Cavalier. Their clothes were leather knee high boots, tunics and hats complete with plumes

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cavalier

    kav-al-ēr′, n. a knight: a Royalist in the great Civil War: a swaggering fellow: a gallant or gentleman in attendance upon a lady, as her escort or partner in a dance or the like: in military fortification, a raised work so situated as to command the neighbouring country.—adj. like a cavalier: gay: war-like: haughty, supercilious, free-and-easy.—v.i. to act as cavalier.—adj. Cavalier′ish.—n. Cavalier′ism.—adv. Cavalier′ly.—n. Cavalier′o, a cavalier.—Cavaliere-servente (It.), one who waits upon a lady, esp. a married lady, with fantastic devotion—a cicisbeo. [Fr.,—It. cavallo. See Cavalcade.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. cavalier

    In fortification, a work raised considerably higher than its neighbours, but generally of similar plan. Its object is to afford a plunging fire, especially into the near approaches of a besieger, and to shelter adjacent faces from enfilade. Its most frequent position in fortresses is at the salient of the ravelin, or within the bastion; and in siege-works in the advanced trenches, for the purpose of enabling the musketry of the attack to drive the defenders out of the covered way.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. cavalier

    Originally meant any horse-soldier, but in English history is the name given to the party which adhered to King Charles I., in opposition to the Roundheads, or friends of the Parliament.

  2. cavalier

    In fortification, is a defense-work constructed on the terre-plein, or level ground of a bastion. It rises to a height varying from 8 to 12 feet above the rampart, and has a parapet about 6 feet high. Its uses are to command any rising ground held by the enemy within cannon-shot, and to guard the curtain, or plain wall between two bastions, from being enfiladed. A cavalier battery—used in siege operations—is a battery of which the terre-plein, or platform of earth on which the gun stands, is above the ordinary level of the ground.

Suggested Resources

  1. cavalier

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

Etymology and Origins

  1. Cavalier

    From the French chevalier, a horseman.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cavalier is ranked #9848 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Cavalier surname appeared 3,285 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Cavalier.

    80% or 2,628 total occurrences were White.
    11.7% or 386 total occurrences were Black.
    5% or 166 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.8% or 62 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.7% or 23 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.6% or 20 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce cavalier?

How to say cavalier in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cavalier in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cavalier in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of cavalier in a Sentence

  1. Nancy Pelosi:

    In the public, the tide has completely changed; it could change now - who knows - but right now after seeing the complaint and the IG (Inspector General) report and the cavalier attitude the administration had towards it, the American people are coming to a different decision.

  2. President Obama:

    We all grieve when any innocent life is taken. We don't take this work lightly. And I know that each and every one of you understand the magnitude of what we do and the stakes involved and these aren't abstractions and we're not cavalier about what we do.

  3. Adam Schiff:

    It concerns me greatly that this President, after criticizing so many others about leaking potentially classified information should be discussing things that may very well be classified in such a cavalier fashion.

  4. Richard Blumenthal:

    Pardon me for seeming somewhat cavalier about it, but were talking about an impeachment trial. Nothing we do as senators will be more important.

  5. Cliff Pirtle:

    I was heartbroken to learn of the tragic incident on the Rust film set, having personally used a similar revolver on film sets, I know there is no space to be cavalier with these firearms. They are not props ; they are deadly weapons regardless of the context of use.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for cavalier

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"cavalier." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 12 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cavalier>.

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