From Middle English knight, kniht, from Old English cniht, cneht, cneoht (“boy, youth, servant, attendant, retainer, disciple, warrior, boyhood, junior member of a guild”), from Proto-Germanic *knehtaz (compare Dutch knecht (“attendant, servant”), German Knecht (“lad, servant”)), originally ‘billet (wood), block of wood’ (compare Dutch laarzeknecht (“boot-jack”), dialectal German Knüchtel (“bat, club”)), from Proto-Indo-European *gnegʰ-, from *gen- ‘to ball up, pinch, compress’.
knight (plural knights)
- A warrior, especially of the Middle Ages.
- King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
- A young servant or follower; a military attendant.
- Nowadays, a person on whom a knighthood has been conferred by a monarch.
- (chess) A chess piece, often in the shape of a horse's head, that is moved two squares in one direction and one at right angles to that direction in a single move, leaping over any intervening pieces.
- (card games, dated) A playing card bearing the figure of a knight; the knave or jack.
- (chess piece): horse (informal)
|Chess pieces in English · chess pieces, chessmen (see also: chess) (layout · text)|
- (transitive) To confer knighthood upon.
- The king knighted the young squire.
- (chess, transitive) To promote (a pawn) to a knight.