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Chivalry definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

1. Knighthood; a military dignity, founded on the service of soldiers on horseback, called knights; a service formerly deemed more honorable than service in infantry.
2. The qualifications of a knight, as valor and dexterity in arms.
3. The system of knighthood; the privileges, characteristics or manners of knights; the practice of knight-errantry, or the heroic defense of life and honor.
4. An adventure or exploit, as of a knight.
5. The body or order of knights.
6. In English law, a tenure of lands by knights service; that is, by the condition of performing service on horseback, or of performing some noble or military service to his lord. This was general or special; general, when the tenant held per servitium militare, without specification of the particular service; special, when the particular service was designated. When the tenant held only of the king, the tenure was regal; when he held of a common person, it was called common. This service was also grand sergeantry, as when the tenant was bound to perform service to the king in his own person; and petit sergeantry, when he was bound to yield to the king annually some small thing, as a sword or dagger. Chivalry that might be held of a common person, was called escuage, scutagium, or shield service.
Court of chivalry, a court formerly held before the Lord High Constable and Earl Marshal of England, having cognizance of contracts and other matters relating to deeds of arms and war. It had jurisdiction both of civil and criminal causes, but no power to enforce its decisions by fine or imprisonment, not being a court of record. It is now nearly extinct.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: courtesy towards women [syn: chivalry, gallantry, politesse]
2: the medieval principles governing knighthood and knightly conduct [syn: chivalry, knightliness]

Merriam Webster's

noun (plural -ries) Etymology: Middle English chivalrie, from Anglo-French chevalerie, from chevaler knight more at chevalier Date: 14th century 1. mounted men-at-arms 2. archaic a. martial valor b. knightly skill 3. gallant or distinguished gentlemen 4. the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood 5. the qualities of the ideal knight ; chivalrous conduct

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code. 2 the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp. courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and readiness to help the weak. 3 a man's courteous behaviour, esp. towards women. 4 archaic knights, noblemen, and horsemen collectively. Derivatives: chivalric adj. Etymology: ME f. OF chevalerie etc. f. med.L caballerius for LL caballarius horseman: see CAVALIER

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Chivalry Chiv"al*ry, n. [F. chevalerie, fr. chevalier knight, OF., horseman. See Chevalier, and cf. Cavalry.] 1. A body or order of cavaliers or knights serving on horseback; illustrious warriors, collectively; cavalry. ``His Memphian chivalry.'' --Milton. By his light Did all the chivalry of England move, To do brave acts. --Shak. 2. The dignity or system of knighthood; the spirit, usages, or manners of knighthood; the practice of knight-errantry. --Dryden. 3. The qualifications or character of knights, as valor, dexterity in arms, courtesy, etc. The glory of our Troy this day doth lie On his fair worth and single chivalry. --Shak. 4. (Eng. Law) A tenure of lands by knight's service; that is, by the condition of a knight's performing service on horseback, or of performing some noble or military service to his lord. 5. Exploit. [Obs.] --Sir P. Sidney. Court of chivalry, a court formerly held before the lord high constable and earl marshal of England as judges, having cognizance of contracts and other matters relating to deeds of arms and war. --Blackstone.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

1. Chivalry is polite, kind, and unselfish behaviour, especially by men towards women. Marie seemed to revel in his old-fashioned chivalry. = gallantry N-UNCOUNT 2. In the Middle Ages, chivalry was the set of rules and way of behaving which knights were expected to follow. ...the age of chivalry.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Knighthood, knight-errantry. 2. Valor, gallantry.

Moby Thesaurus

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