[ shiv-uhl-ree ]
See synonyms for chivalry on
noun,plural chiv·al·ries for 6.
  1. the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

  2. the rules and customs of medieval knighthood.

  1. the medieval system or institution of knighthood.

  2. a group of knights.

  3. gallant warriors or gentlemen: fair ladies and noble chivalry.

  4. Archaic. a chivalrous act; gallant deed.

Origin of chivalry

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English chivalrie, from Anglo-French, Old French chevalerie, from chevalier chevalier + -ie -y3

Other words from chivalry

  • un·chiv·al·ry, noun

Words Nearby chivalry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chivalry in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chivalry


/ (ˈʃɪvəlrɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage, honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak

  2. courteous behaviour, esp towards women

  1. the medieval system and principles of knighthood

  2. knights, noblemen, etc, collectively

Origin of chivalry

C13: from Old French chevalerie, from chevalier

Derived forms of chivalry

  • chivalric, adjective

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

Cultural definitions for chivalry


The methods of training and standards of behavior for knights in the Middle Ages. The code of chivalry emphasized bravery, military skill, generosity in victory, piety, and courtesy to women. (Compare courtly love.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.