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cavalry

[kav-uh l-ree]
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noun, plural cav·al·ries.
  1. Military.
    1. the part of a military force composed of troops that serve on horseback.
    2. mounted soldiers collectively.
    3. the motorized, armored units of a military force organized for maximum mobility.
  2. horsemen, horses, etc., collectively.
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Origin of cavalry

1585–95; syncopated variant of cavallery < Italian cavalleria, derivative of cavaliere cavalier
Can be confusedCalvary cavalry
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cavalry

cavalry

noun plural -ries
  1. (esp formerly) the part of an army composed of mounted troops
  2. the armoured element of a modern army
  3. (as modifier)a cavalry unit; a cavalry charge
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Derived Formscavalryman, noun

Word Origin

C16: from French cavallerie, from Italian cavalleria, from cavaliere horseman; see cavalier
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 cavalry

n.

1540s, from Middle French cavalerie (16c.), from Italian cavalleria "mounted militia," from cavaliere (see cavalier (n.)). An Old English word for it was horshere.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper