American Dictionary of the English Language

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KNIGHT, noun nite.

1. Originally, a knight was a youth, and young men being employed as servants, hence it came to signify a servant. But among our warlike ancestors, the word was particularly applied to a young man after he was admitted to the privilege of bearing arms. The admission to this privilege was a ceremony of great importance, and was the origin of the institution of knighthood. Hence, in feudal times, a knight was a man admitted to military rank by a certain ceremony. This privilege was conferred on youths of family and fortune, and hence sprung the honorable title of knight in modern usage. A knight has the title of Sir.

2. A pupil or follower.

3. A champion.

KNIGHT of the post, a knight dubbed at the whipping post or pillory; a hireling witness.

KNIGHT of the shire, in England, one of the representatives of a county in parliament, originally a knight but now any gentleman having an estate in land of six hundred pounds a year is qualified.

KNIGHT, verb transitive nite. To dub or create a knight which is done by the king who gives the person kneeling a blow with a sword, and says, rise, Sir.