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Word of the Day
Thursday, August 03, 2017

Definitions for paladin

  1. any determined advocate or defender of a noble cause.
  2. any one of the 12 legendary peers or knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne.
  3. any knightly or heroic champion.

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Citations for paladin
Sweden’s center-left government is keen to underscore its role as a paladin of the welfare state and to make the most of the current boom as it prepares to fight for a new mandate in elections next year. Love Liman and Nicholas Rigillo, "Sweden Squirrels Away Cash Ahead of Demographic Time Bomb," Bloomberg, June 28, 2017
Because he is bamboozled by Dodson and Fogg, he will enter the prison house like a paladin, and rescue the man and the woman who have wronged him most. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study, 1906
Origin of paladin
Paladin nowadays usually means “defender or advocate of a noble cause,” but it still retains its original meaning “any of the twelve peers of Charlemagne’s court or of his vassals.” One of the earliest applications of the word, if not the earliest, is to Roland of Brittany, who died in 778 a.d. at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass (or Roncesvalles) in the Pyrenees in the Basque region of Spain, and was immortalized in the “Chanson de Roland” (“Song of Roland”), which was composed c1100. Paladin ultimately derives from the Latin proper noun Palātium, the name of the chief hill of the seven hills of Rome and the site of the earliest Roman settlements. The Latin adjective and noun Palātīnus derives from the noun Palātium and means “pertaining to the Palatine hill, pertaining to the imperial palace; an officer of the imperial palace, chamberlain.” The post-Augustan Latin usage passed into Italian as paladino, which was adopted in Middle French as palladin, and through French into English. Paladin entered English in the late 16th century.