gallant vs knightly what difference

what is difference between gallant and knightly


Alternative forms

  • gallaunt (obsolete)

Etymology 1

From Middle English galant, galaunt, from Old French galant (courteous; dashing; brave), present participle of galer (to rejoice; make merry), from gale (pomp; show; festivity; mirth); either from Frankish *wala- (good, well), from Proto-Germanic *wal-, from Proto-Indo-European *welh₁- (to choose, wish); or alternatively from Frankish *gail (merry; mirthful; proud; luxuriant), from Proto-Germanic *gailaz (merry; excited; luxurious), related to Dutch geil (horny; lascivious; salacious; lecherous), German geil (randy; horny; lecherous; wicked), Old English gāl (wanton; wicked; bad).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡælənt/
  • Rhymes: -ælənt


gallant (comparative more gallant, superlative most gallant)

  1. Brave, valiant.
  2. honorable.
  3. grand, noble.
  4. (obsolete) Showy; splendid; magnificent; gay; well-dressed.
    • This town [is built in a very gallant place.
Related terms
  • gallantly
  • gallantry

Etymology 2

From French


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɡəˈlænt/, /ˈɡælənt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɡəˈlɑnt/, /ˈɡælənt/
  • Rhymes: -ænt


gallant (comparative more gallant, superlative most gallant)

  1. Polite and attentive to ladies; courteous to women; chivalrous.


gallant (plural gallants)

  1. (dated) A fashionable young man who is polite and attentive to women.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
      PROSPERO: [] this gallant which thou see’st / Was in the wrack; and but he’s something stain’d / with grief,—that beauty’s canker,—thou mightst call him / A goodly person []
  2. One who woos, a lover, a suitor, a seducer.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      [] they were discovered in a very improper manner by the husband of the gypsy, who, from jealousy it seems, had kept a watchful eye over his wife, and had dogged her to the place, where he found her in the arms of her gallant.
    • 1819, John Keats, Otho the Great, Act III, Scene II, verses 140–143
      The ignominy of that whisper’d tale / About a midnight gallant, seen to climb / A window to her chamber neighbour’d near, / I will from her turn off, []
  3. (nautical) topgallant


gallant (third-person singular simple present gallants, present participle gallanting, simple past and past participle gallanted)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To attend or wait on (a lady).
    • During this period, we were the lions of the neighbourhood; and, no doubt, strangers from the distant villages were taken to see the “Karhowrees” (white men), in the same way that countrymen, in a city, are gallanted to the Zoological Gardens.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To handle with grace or in a modish manner.


  • gallant in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.


Alternative forms

  • gallan (colloquial)


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡaɬant/



  1. (literary) third-person plural present/future of gallu




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


  • IPA(key): /ˈnaɪtli/
  • Homophone: nightly


knightly (comparative knightlier, superlative knightliest)

  1. Of or pertaining to a knight or knights.
  2. Befitting a knight; formally courteous (as a knight); chivalrous, gallant and courtly.
    knightly combat

Derived terms

  • knightliness



knightly (comparative more knightly, superlative most knightly)

  1. In the manner of a knight; chivalrously.

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