- any one of the 12 legendary peers or knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne.
- any knightly or heroic champion.
- any determined advocate or defender of a noble cause.
- one of the legendary twelve peers of Charlemagne’s court
- a knightly champion
n.1590s, “one of the 12 knights in attendance on Charlemagne,” from Middle French paladin “a warrior” (16c.), from Italian paladino, from Latin palatinus “palace official;” noun use of palatinus “of the palace” (see palace). The Old French form of the word was palaisin (which gave Middle English palasin, c.1400); the Italian form prevailed because, though the matter was French, most of the poets who wrote the romances were Italians.