Knight Definition

This article is focused on the definition of the Knight who lived in the Middle Ages and not the modern version of Knights and Knighthood.

There are many ways to describe the medieval knight but what is the most accurate?



A knight is a man who has been given the ‘honorary title of knighthood’, in medieval times Knights could be given Knighthood by other Knights, bishops, religious, political people, or other important people and leaders in medieval society!

Knight Armour

The Knight in the main provides a military service to a noble, monarch, or Christian church usually for ‘land holdings’ within the feudal system.

Medieval England Knight

A Typical Knight in Medieval England

Dictionary Definition of a Knight

Medieval Knights History

Medieval Knight’s History a Knight from the Norman Period

In early medieval history, a knight was a mounted warrior and an ‘Elite Fighter’.

In the high and late medieval periods, the exact role of the medieval knight became more established and connected with ‘Chivalry’ and the ‘Code of Chivalry’, Courtly Love, Knighthood, Plate Armor, and Medieval Tournaments.

medieval knight ready for jousting tournament

Medieval Knights were well placed in the Feudal system, they were usually bodyguards or mercenary fighters for a wealthy nobility, lords, and Kings and received landholdings for their military services.

Medieval Nobility and Medieval Nobles

Knights could also be described as vassals within the Feudal system. A Vassal was a ‘Land Holder’ a person who had land given to them in return for military services, loyalty, and allegiance.

Although Knights were well regarded in medieval society, they were classed as lower-level nobility.

Definition of a Knight according to Google Search

Definition of a Knight according to Google Search

knights horse armor Head chamfronjpg

Knights and Horses

Knights can also be described as ‘elite mounted warriors’ who were skilled in horsemanship.

Ettore Fieramosca Famous Italian Knights

Knighthoods are still given today but modern knights are nothing like and have no connection to the traditional warrior knight of the Middle Ages.

Medieval Knights Warfare 1

In later times Queen Elizabeth ruled that a Knighthood could only be granted by the ruling monarch.