[ nahyt ]
See synonyms for knight on
  1. a mounted soldier serving under a feudal superior in the Middle Ages.

  2. (in Europe in the Middle Ages) a man, usually of noble birth, who after an apprenticeship as page and squire was raised to honorable military rank and bound to chivalrous conduct.

  1. any person of a rank similar to that of the medieval knight.

  2. a man upon whom the nonhereditary dignity of knighthood is conferred by a sovereign because of personal merit or for services rendered to the country. In Great Britain he holds the rank next below that of a baronet, and the title Sir is prefixed to the Christian name, as in Sir John Smith.

  3. a member of any order or association that designates its members as knights.

  4. Chess. a piece shaped like a horse's head, moved one square vertically and then two squares horizontally or one square horizontally and two squares vertically.

  5. Nautical.

    • a short vertical timber having on its head a sheave through which running rigging is rove.

    • any other fitting or erection bearing such a sheave.

verb (used with object)
  1. to dub or make (a man) a knight.

Origin of knight

before 900; Middle English; Old English cniht boy, manservant; cognate with German, Dutch knecht servant

Other words from knight

  • knightless, adjective
  • un·knight·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with knight

Words Nearby knight

Other definitions for Knight (2 of 2)

[ nahyt ]

  1. Eric, 1897–1943, U.S. novelist, born in England.

  2. Frank Hy·ne·man [hahy-nuh-muhn], /ˈhaɪ nə mən/, 1885–1972, U.S. economist. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use knight in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for knight (1 of 2)


/ (naɪt) /

  1. (in medieval Europe)

    • (originally) a person who served his lord as a mounted and heavily armed soldier

    • (later) a gentleman invested by a king or other lord with the military and social standing of this rank

  2. (in modern times) a person invested by a sovereign with a nonhereditary rank and dignity usually in recognition of personal services, achievements, etc. A British knight bears the title Sir placed before his name, as in Sir Winston Churchill

  1. a chess piece, usually shaped like a horse's head, that moves either two squares horizontally and one square vertically or one square horizontally and two squares vertically

  2. a heroic champion of a lady or of a cause or principle

  3. a member of the Roman class of the equites

  1. (tr) to make (a person) a knight; dub

Origin of knight

Old English cniht servant; related to Old High German kneht boy

British Dictionary definitions for Knight (2 of 2)


/ (naɪt) /

  1. Dame Laura. 1887–1970, British painter, noted for her paintings of Gypsies, the ballet, and the circus

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 knight


A mounted warrior in Europe in the Middle Ages. (See chivalry.)

Notes for knight

Over the centuries, knighthood gradually lost its military functions, but it has survived as a social distinction in Europe, especially in England.

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.