What does knight mean?

Definitions for knight

Here are all the possible meanings 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

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.

Suggested Resources

  1. knight

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

Etymology and Origins

  1. Knight

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

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. John Bolton:

    Trump's disgraceful firing of Ellen Knight is another stain on his presidency, those in the NSC and White House Counsel's office who tried to intimidate Ms. Ellen Knight, and then carried out Trump's personal vendetta, should be held to account.

  3. Adam West:

    There are very talented people associated with them. The actors are great.  However, they are dark knights, dark, introspective. I was the bright knight, for god's sake. We just made people laugh.

  4. Charles Sumner:

    The senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, i mean the harlot Slavery.

  5. Christopher Nolan:

    This is not only a great honor for all of us who worked on' The Dark Knight,' this is also a tribute to all of the amazing artists and writers who have worked on the great mythology of Batman over the decades.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for knight

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