cavalier

cavalierism, cavalierness, n.cavalierly, adv.
/kav'euh lear", kav"euh lear'/, n.
1. a horseman, esp. a mounted soldier; knight.
2. one having the spirit or bearing of a knight; a courtly gentleman; gallant.
3. a man escorting a woman or acting as her partner in dancing.
4. (cap.) an adherent of Charles I of England in his contest with Parliament.
adj.
5. haughty, disdainful, or supercilious: an arrogant and cavalier attitude toward others.
6. offhand or unceremonious: The very dignified officials were confused by his cavalier manner.
7. (cap.) of or pertaining to the Cavaliers.
8. (cap.) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Cavalier poets or their work.
v.i.
9. to play the cavalier.
10. to be haughty or domineering.
[1590-1600; < MF: horseman, knight < OIt cavaliere < OPr < LL caballarius man on horseback, equiv. to L caball(us) horse (cf. CAPERCAILLIE) + -arius -ARY]
Syn. 5. indifferent, offhand, uncaring, thoughtless, condescending.

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In the English Civil Wars, the name adopted by Charles I's supporters, who contemptuously called their opponents Roundheads (a reference to the short-haired apprentices who had formed part of an anti-Cavalier mob).

The term (similar to the French chevalier) originally meant a rider or cavalryman. At the Restoration, the court party preserved the name Cavalier, which survived until the rise of the term Tory. See also Cavalier poet.

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▪ English horseman
      (from Late Latin caballarius, “horseman”), originally a rider or cavalryman; the term had the same derivation as the French chevalier. In English the word knight was at first generally used to imply the qualities of chivalry associated with the chevalier in French and with the kindred cavaliere in Italian and caballero in Spanish. “Cavalier” in English, however, had the pejorative sense of “swashbuckling” or “overbearing.”

      In the English Civil Wars (1642–51), the name was adopted by Charles I's supporters, who contemptuously called their opponents Roundheads; at the Restoration, the court party preserved the name Cavalier, which survived until the rise of the term Tory.

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Universalium. 2010.

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