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From the old French word for knighthood, "chevalerie", the art of being a chevalier (a knight or horseman).
This was originally a system by which mounted warriors were to act, but while service to their people is touched upon the general goal of medieval knights was not saving many a damsel in distress, devotion to God, or enforcing justice; most knights defined chivalry as warfare and obtaining fame and fortune in the name of their king(s) and without any display of cowardice in battle. In a sense, it's hardly different from joining the military for the benefits that it offers, including the money that pours in from the business of war. Chivalry was basically a boy's culture: fighting other men, riding horses, power and profit and the ability to exploit that power.
The modern notion of chivalry as courtesy to women has tenuous links to chivalry as it was originally conceived. Perhaps courtly love (coined in 1883 to describe the worship of a married noblewoman by a lowly troubadour or knight and his vow to do great deeds in her honor) influenced this notion, but courtly love is, for all intents and purposes, adultery (very dangerous to both participants) and to what extent that courtly love was ever practiced remains unknown.
Chivalry, for the most part, was the opposite of the Geneva Convention; it was all about making a profit on war. The image of an honorable knight saving a fair maiden from a dragon is not much more than sheer fantasy, and most of it seems to stem from the Victorian era; the Victorians, in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, looked at the Middle Ages through rose colored glasses as an idyllic place of pre-industrial innocence, projecting their own ideals of men and women onto the knight and the damsel in distress. A real knight in shining armor was actually more like a trained assassin and the local rapist rolled into one and the damsel in distress, a helpless shrinking violet, never really existed.
by Lorelili October 09, 2011
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2
Being courteous and polite without fucking whining or asking for anything in return.
Chivalry is to be shown without it being asked for.
by Und3dkill@ July 22, 2014
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3
Something that true feminists hate and bitchy feminists complain about being "dead." It's basically being a gentleman, but no longer persists frequently because modern feminism has caused many men to give up on making women actually satisfied with the respect they receive.
Guy: *Doesn't open the door for a stranger who just so happens to have a vagina.*

Stranger (SJW): Ugh. Chivalry is dead. *types #killallmen into phone*

Feminist: If you want to be truly independent and free of the shackles of the so-called patriarchy you talk so much about, why do you need a man to open the door for you?

Stranger: OH-EM-GEE. I am SO triggered right now. I need a safe space where my bullshit won't be questioned.
by TheAbidingDude May 28, 2016
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4
Something women complain is dead even though it cannot logically exist in an equal society, which is something women wanted. It's one or the other.
Jesse lamented about the death of chivalry while she lambasted the days when men oppressed women which was a time when chivalry was common. Makes perfect sense.
by Amfortas March 12, 2011
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5
Something that people always say is dead, but no one seams to know what the hell died..
"Sarah likes Big Macs!"
"And they say Chivalry is dead.."
by Deadyll August 05, 2007
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6
something that's dead and should stay dead.
Son: Daddy, why do I have to let her go first? she's a creep to everybody.

Dad: Because, when somebody has a certain chemical called estrogen in their body, they automatically deserve more respect than you. It's called chauvinism, I mean chivalry.

Son: BULLCRAP!!
by smashdummies August 20, 2012
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7
Chivalry is dead.
by Romance 7 March 18, 2010
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