Definition of cavalry in English:



  • 1[usually treated as plural] (in the past) soldiers who fought on horseback.

    • ‘The emperor sent not only foot soldiers but cavalry as well.’
    • ‘The day was won when the massed crusader cavalry charged and forced Saladin to withdraw.’
    • ‘General confusion broke out and the cavalry charged the crowd.’
    • ‘He was then able to manoeuvre some of his cavalry on to the hilltop and fight the Saxons on level ground.’
    • ‘Despite these troubles, Union cavalry operating in advance of Steele's infantry had success.’
    • ‘In addition, there were Macedonian light horse and heavy cavalry from other cities.’
    • ‘In 55 BC, Celtic warriors used cavalry and horse-drawn chariots to oppose Caesar's invasion.’
    • ‘The situation was saved by a mass counter-attack of French cavalry, checking the allied advance, though failing to break through the allied lines.’
    • ‘Quickly following Miller in the charge came the infantrymen and Winters's dismounted cavalry moving as skirmishers.’
    • ‘He had infantry, cavalry, arquebusiers, Cossacks and many Tartars, with heavy artillery, which was shipped down the Volga.’
    • ‘In previous wars, horsed cavalry had performed such a role, but cavalry were generally of little use in the trenches of the Western Front.’
    • ‘It was a classic example of a successful Highland charge, but Bonnie Dundee was killed as he led his cavalry into the firing line, and the rebellion petered to a halt within months.’
    • ‘After an attack by crossbowmen and infantry, the van of the French cavalry charged impetuously through their own infantry across the stream and up the slope on the other side.’
    • ‘William would not have been able to move his cavalry through this area as the horses would have been bogged down.’
    • ‘His army's main power was based on his cavalry - horse borne soldiers.’
    • ‘William's plan was to use the archers first to send their arrows into the English ranks, followed by the infantry in hand-to-hand combat and to finally advance with the cavalry who had the height and power of being on horseback.’
    • ‘Twelve of Poland's divisions were cavalry, armed with lance and sabre, and they were no match for tanks.’
    • ‘Here was a lesson that, if the Saxons had learned from it, could have changed the outcome of the Battle of Hastings; cavalry are helpless against well ordered archers.’
    • ‘This cavalry was quickly dispersed at the Battle of Sedgemoor, contemporaries claimed on account of Grey's own cowardice and ineptitude.’
    • ‘Boats were built for the Roman foot soldiers while the Roman cavalry swam across with their horses.’
    mounted troops, cavalrymen, horse soldiers, troopers, horse
    dragoons, lancers, hussars, carabineers, cuirassiers, sabreurs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Modern soldiers who fight in armored vehicles.
      • ‘The infant service had to count on its own people - mostly young infantry and cavalry officers and enlisted men - for direction.’
      • ‘Priority for use goes to armor, mechanized infantry, and cavalry units.’
      • ‘In many cases, these operations were carried out with infantry, aircraft, cavalry, and armored cars.’
      • ‘A regimental cavalry troop has two tank platoons, two scout platoons, and a heavy mortar section.’
      • ‘We should be fighting this battle with three U.S. armored divisions and an armored cavalry regiment to provide rear area security.’
      • ‘It is understood the restructuring will see the creation of nine infantry battalions, one artillery battalion and one cavalry squadron.’
      • ‘At least three battalions of troops, a cavalry corps and 12 armed vehicles were deployed to secure the site soon after the announcement of the temporary closure on March 9.’
      • ‘Several armored cavalry regiments (brigade equivalents) could be kept as independent units.’
      • ‘Each combat command typically employed liaison aircraft and mechanized cavalry troops for route reconnaissance and early warning of enemy positions.’
      • ‘Infantry battalion and artillery and cavalry commanders required extensive coaching as well.’
      • ‘The heavy cavalry troop can reconnoiter up to a 10-kilometer-wide zone or up to two routes simultaneously.’
      • ‘The typical team consisted of three cavalry fighting vehicles and two tanks.’
      • ‘The Army's transition places a medium cavalry unit, the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, at Fort Polk.’
      • ‘How much force structure (in armored cavalry squadrons and regiments) do we have dedicated to reconnaissance and surveillance?’
      • ‘With the addition of an engineer battalion and air cavalry squadron, it was obvious the brigade required additional MBITR assets.’
      • ‘When committed to combat, a field force would be assigned an armored cavalry regiment to serve as its eyes and ears.’
      • ‘The 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, the divisional cavalry squadron of the 3ID, was equipped with two troops of these aircraft.’
      • ‘The Red Army used infantry and cavalry units to move more resolutely and to a deeper depth.’
      • ‘Furthermore, he believed that in modern warfare there was no place for armored cavalry.’
      • ‘As well as being a cavalry unit, it has been providing APC lift to infantry battalions in East Timor, returning from operations with 6RAR earlier this year.’


Mid 16th century: from French cavallerie, from Italian cavalleria, from cavallo horse from Latin caballus.