[kav-uh-leer, kav-uh-leer]



verb (used without object)

to play the cavalier.
to be haughty or domineering.

Origin of cavalier

1590–1600; < Middle French: horseman, knight < Old Italian cavaliere < Old Provençal < Late Latin caballārius man on horseback, equivalent to Latin caball(us) horse (cf. capercaillie) + -ārius -ary
Related formscav·a·lier·ism, cav·a·lier·ness, nouncav·a·lier·ly, adverbun·cav·a·lier, adjectiveun·cav·a·lier·ly, adverb

Synonyms for cavalier Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cavalierly

Historical Examples of cavalierly

  • They approached; I bowed low to the Duke, who returned my salute most cavalierly.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope

  • "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.


    Elizabeth Wetherell

  • But the aristocratic occupants of the boxes treated him cavalierly.

  • She whom they all addressed so cavalierly was particular to put a handle to each name.

    Two on the Trail

    Hulbert Footner

British Dictionary definitions for cavalierly



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
Derived Formscavalierly, adverb

Word Origin for cavalier

C16: from Italian cavaliere, from Old Provençal cavalier, from Late Latin caballārius rider, from caballus horse, of obscure origin



a supporter of Charles I during the English Civil WarCompare Roundhead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper