- a horseman, especially a mounted soldier; knight.
- one having the spirit or bearing of a knight; a courtly gentleman; gallant.
- a man escorting a woman or acting as her partner in dancing.
- (initial capital letter) an adherent of Charles I of England in his contest with Parliament.
- haughty, disdainful, or supercilious: an arrogant and cavalier attitude toward others.
- offhand or unceremonious: The very dignified officials were confused by his cavalier manner.
- (initial capital letter) of or relating to the Cavaliers.
- (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of the Cavalier poets or their work.
- to play the cavalier.
- to be haughty or domineering.
Origin of cavalier
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cavalierly
They approached; I bowed low to the Duke, who returned my salute most cavalierly.Simon Dale
"Do not speak so cavalierly of the devil, my old comrade," said the marshal.The Queen's Necklace
Alexandre Dumas pre
"Style is more than a face," said Miss St. Clair cavalierly.Daisy
But the aristocratic occupants of the boxes treated him cavalierly.The History of Sir Richard Calmady
She whom they all addressed so cavalierly was particular to put a handle to each name.Two on the Trail
- showing haughty disregard; offhand
- a gallant or courtly gentleman, esp one acting as a lady's escort
- archaic a horseman, esp one who is armed
- a supporter of Charles I during the English Civil WarCompare Roundhead
Word Origin and History for cavalierly
"disdainful," 1650s, from cavalier (n.). Earlier it meant "gallant" (1640s). Related: Cavalierly.
1580s, from Italian cavalliere "mounted soldier, knight; gentleman serving as a lady's escort," from Late Latin caballarius "horseman," from Vulgar Latin caballus, the common Vulgar Latin word for "horse" (and source of Italian cavallo, French cheval, Spanish caballo, Irish capall, Welsh ceffyl), displacing Latin equus (see equine).
Sense advanced in 17c. to "knight," then "courtly gentleman" (but also, pejoratively, "swaggerer"), which led to the adjectival senses, especially "disdainful" (1650s). Meaning "Royalist adherent of Charles I" is from 1641. Meaning "one who devotes himself solely to attendance on a lady" is from 1817, roughly translating Italian cavaliere-servente. In classical Latin caballus was "work horse, pack horse," sometimes, disdainfully, "hack, nag." "Not a native Lat. word (as the second -a- would show), though the source of the borrowing is uncertain" [Tucker]. Perhaps from some Balkan or Anatolian language, and meaning, originally, "gelding." The same source is thought to have yielded Old Church Slavonic kobyla.