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From Middle English knightly, knightlich, from Old English cnihtlīċ (boyish, youthful, childish), equivalent to knight +‎ -ly. Cognate with Dutch knechtelijk (servile), German knechtlich (menial).



knightly (comparative knightlier, superlative knightliest)

  1. Of or pertaining to a knight or knights.
    • Spenser
      For knightly jousts and fierce encounters fit.
  2. Befitting a knight; formally courteous (as a knight); chivalrous, gallant and courtly.
    knightly combat

Derived terms[edit]



knightly (comparative more knightly, superlative most knightly)

  1. In the manner of a knight; chivalrously.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter lxviij, in Le Morte Darthur, book X:
      Syr said Palomydes ye shalle haue myn aduyse to be ageynst Kynge Arthur as to morne for on his party wille be syre Launcelot and many good knyghtes of his blood with hym / And the moo men of worship that they be / the more worship we shalle we wynne / That is full knyghtely spoken said sir Tristram / and ryght soo as ye counceile me / soo wille we doo