[ kav-uh-leer, kav-uh-leer ]SEE DEFINITION OF cavalier
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


And why should her father mistrust this splendid-looking Spanish cavalier?

Treat this cavalier with all the respect and worship due to his birth and merits.

At all events, I have not danced four dances in one evening with one cavalier.

History has a cavalier way of recording the benefits of conquest.

"The rest of the planking's sure to be gone by this time," continues the cavalier.

The keen eyes flashed after the disappearing figures of Sylvia and her cavalier.

Does every cavalier so think when a helpless woman turns to him in her distress?

Eleanor, on the other hand, found her cavalier more simple than herself.

How say you, Sirs—shall this cavalier have the ordering of the battle?

The Japanese cavalier advanced with a succession of bows and smiles.


1580s, from Italian cavalliere "mounted soldier, knight; gentleman serving as a lady's escort," from Late Latin caballarius "horseman," from Vulgar Latin caballus, the common Vulgar Latin word for "horse" (and source of Italian cavallo, French cheval, Spanish caballo, Irish capall, Welsh ceffyl), displacing Latin equus (see equine).

Sense advanced in 17c. to "knight," then "courtly gentleman" (but also, pejoratively, "swaggerer"), which led to the adjectival senses, especially "disdainful" (1650s). Meaning "Royalist adherent of Charles I" is from 1641. Meaning "one who devotes himself solely to attendance on a lady" is from 1817, roughly translating Italian cavaliere-servente. In classical Latin caballus was "work horse, pack horse," sometimes, disdainfully, "hack, nag." "Not a native Lat. word (as the second -a- would show), though the source of the borrowing is uncertain" [Tucker]. Perhaps from some Balkan or Anatolian language, and meaning, originally, "gelding." The same source is thought to have yielded Old Church Slavonic kobyla.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.