One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural knights bachelor
A knight not belonging to any particular order.
- ‘However, most knights were not members of an order at all, but knights bachelor.’
- ‘A few Italians are hereditary knights bachelor, forming a kind of Italian baronetage.’
- ‘The majority of musical knights will fall into the category of knights bachelor because it is the usual one for those knighted in recognition of distinguished activities outside the public service.’
- ‘In the recent birthday honours only one of the 25 new knights bachelor was from health care, and he was a chairman of a regional office of the NHS Executive.’
- ‘In 1843 there were 451 knights bachelor and 787 members of the orders, but these numbers swelled rapidly, and by 1915 there were over 4,000 members of orders.’
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