verb (used with object)

to dub or make (a man) a knight.

Nearby words

  1. knife-point,
  2. knifeman,
  3. knifepoint,
  4. kniferest,
  5. knifing,
  6. knight bachelor,
  7. knight banneret,
  8. knight errant,
  9. knight errantry,
  10. knight in shining armor

Origin of knight

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

Related formsknight·less, adjectiveun·knight·ed, adjective

Can be confusedknight night

Knights, The


a comedy (424 b.c.) by Aristophanes. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knights

British Dictionary definitions for knights



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



(in medieval Europe)
  1. (originally) a person who served his lord as a mounted and heavily armed soldier
  2. (later) a gentleman invested by a king or other lord with the military and social standing of this rank
(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
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
a heroic champion of a lady or of a cause or principle
a member of the Roman class of the equites


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

Word Origin for knight

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

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 knights
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for knights


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


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.