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Cavalier is a term that has been in use since the 1600s, and has its roots in a political rivalry. We will examine the definition of the term cavalier, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The word cavalier is currently most often used as an adjective to mean without proper care or concern, in a disdainful or dismissive manner. The word cavalier originally meant a horseman, and particularly a loyal follower of the British King Charles I. The term cavalier was used as a kind of insult, insinuating that the Cavaliers were men who were pompous and overbearing. The Cavaliers took back the term as a title of honor and loyalty, the same way that the LGBT community has worked to change the word queer from a slur to a proud appellation. The word cavalier is derived from the Latin word caballarius, meaning horseman. When used to mean the historical followers of Charles I, the term is capitalized as in Cavalier.


I have lived in South Florida for almost 50 years now and I am extremely disgusted with the cavalier attitude toward drunken driving shown by our elected officials.  (The Sun Sentinel)

All this is, sadly, evidence of Air NZ’s cavalier attitude to claiming the privilege of being regarded as our “national” carrier. (The New Zealand Herald)

It isn’t just that Facebook was careless with its users’ data in this instance, or that its policy of allowing third-party apps access to information on users’ friends was cavalier and misguided (though it certainly was both of those). (The Tampa Bay Times)

Whilst Coyle was cavalier, talking about wingers and football that was pleasing on the eye when he arrived, rarely practising free kick routines or set plays in training according to Clarke Carlisle, playing everything off the cuff and just leave plans to the players on the day; Dyche is meticulous, the ultimate planner, organiser and stickler for detail. (Sports Illustrated Magazine)

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