What does knighthood mean?

Definitions for knighthood
ˈnaɪt hʊdknight·hood

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. knighthoodnoun

    aristocrats holding the rank of knight


  1. knighthoodnoun

    An honour whereby one is made into a knight, and one can thereafter be called "Sir"

    He's got an OBE, and MBE and his recent work should entitle him to a knighthood.

  2. knighthoodnoun

    The quality of being a knight.

  3. knighthoodnoun

    The knights collectively, the body of knights.

  4. Etymology: From knighthod, from cnihthad

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Knighthoodnoun

    The character or dignity of a knight.

    Etymology: from knight.

    For that same knight’s own sword this is of yore,
    Which Merlin made by his almighty art,
    For that his noursling, when he knighthood swore,
    Therewith to doen his foes eternal smart. Fairy Queen.

    Speak truly on thy knighthood, and thine oath,
    And so defend thee heaven and thy valour. William Shakespeare, R. II.

    Is this the sir, who some waste wife to win,
    A knighthood bought, to go a wooing in. Ben Jonson.

    If you needs must write, write Cæsar’s praise,
    You’ll gain at least a knighthood, or the bays. Alexander Pope.


  1. Knighthood

    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. knighthood

    Knighthood is a rank or title given by a monarch or other leader as an honor for personal merit or service, usually associated with chivalrous conduct or military service. It often comes with various privileges and is common in societies that follow a code of chivalry. This accolade traditionally grants the individual the title of ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’ and they are then known as a knight or dame.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Knighthoodnoun

    the character, dignity, or condition of a knight, or of knights as a class; hence, chivalry

  2. Knighthoodnoun

    the whole body of knights

  3. Etymology: [Knight + hood: cf. AS. chihthd youth.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Knighthood

    a distinction granted to commoners, ranking next to baronet, now bestowed by the crown; formerly knighthood was a military order, any member of which might create new knights; it was originally the highest rank of Chivalry (q. v.); it was an order of many subdivisions developed during the crusades, and in full flower before the Norman conquest of England.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. knighthood

    An institution by princes, either for the defence of religion, or as marks of honour on officers who have distinguished themselves by their valour and address. This dignity being personal, dies with the individual so honoured. The initials of our own orders are:--K.G., Knight of the Garter; K.T., Knight of the Thistle; K.S.P., Knight of St. Patrick; G.C.B., Grand Cross of the Bath; K.C.B., Knight Commander of the Bath; G.C.H., Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order; K.H., Knight of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order; G.C.M.G., Grand Cross of St. Michael and George; E.S.I., Most Exalted Star of India. The principal foreign orders worn by our navy are those of Hanover, St. Ferdinand and Merit, the Tower and Sword, Legion of Honour, Maria Theresa, St. Bento d'Avis, Cross of Charles III., San Fernando, St. Louis, St. Vladimir, St. Anne of Russia, Red Eagle of Prussia, Redeemer of Greece, Medjidie of Turkey, Leopold of Austria, Iron Crown of Austria, William of the Netherlands.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. knighthood

    Originally a military distinction, came, in the 16th century, to be occasionally conferred on civilians, as a reward for valuable services rendered to the crown or community. The first civil knight in England was Sir William Walworth, lord mayor of London, who won that distinction by slaying the rebel Wat Tyler in presence of the king. In recent times, it has been bestowed at least as often on scholars, lawyers, artists, or citizens, as on soldiers, and in many cases for no weightier service than carrying a congratulatory address to court.

  2. knighthood

    The character, dignity, or condition of a knight.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of knighthood in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of knighthood in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of knighthood in a Sentence

  1. Dejan Stojanovic:

    Knighthood lies above eternity; it doesn’t live off fame, but rather deeds.

  2. Chris Kenny:

    He's one dumb knighthood away from oblivion.

  3. Luke Simpkins:

    The knighthood issue was for many the final proof of a disconnection with the people.

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Translations for knighthood

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"knighthood." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/knighthood>.

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