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English

[1589] Borrowed from Middle French cavalier (horseman), itself borrowed from Old Italian cavaliere (mounted soldier, knight),, borrowed from Old Occitan cavalier, from Late Latin caballārius (horseman), from Latin caballus (horse), probably from Gaulish caballos 'nag', variant of cabillos (compare Welsh ceffyl, Breton kefel, Irish capall), akin to German (Swabish) Kōb 'nag' and Old Church Slavonic kobyla 'mare'.

Previous English forms include cavalero and cavaliero.

French

Borrowed from Italian cavaliere, itself borrowed from Old Occitan cavalier, from Late Latin caballārius. Doublet of chevalier, which was inherited.