A dismounted fighting man. During the bulk of the Middle Ages, the role of infantry was considered to be the role of the common man, a distinction is retains to a degree even in modern warfare. Generally, medieval infantry was more lightly armoured than the heavy cavalry that formed the heart of a medieval army. During the 14th century, the English experimented with the use of infantry and artillery to great effect, defeating the cavalry-heavy armies of France and Spain and the massed spearmen of the Scots. Gradually, knights began to fight on foot as often as they fought mounted, but by this time the use of gunpowder changed the role of the knight and gave him the tactical role of officer rather than cavalryman.

Medieval glossary. 2014.

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  • infantry — [in′fən trē] n. pl. infantries [Fr infanterie < It infanteria < infante, very young person, knight s page, foot soldier < L infans: see INFANT] 1. foot soldiers collectively; esp., that branch of an army consisting of soldiers trained… …   English World dictionary

  • Infantry — In fan*try, n. [F. infanterie, It. infanteria, fr. infante infant, child, boy servant, foot soldier, fr. L. infans, antis, child; foot soldiers being formerly the servants and followers of knights. See {Infant}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A body of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • infantry — 1570s, from Fr. infantrie, from older It., Sp. infanteria foot soldiers, force composed of those too inexperienced or low in rank for cavalry, from infante foot soldier, originally a youth, from L. infantem (see INFANT (Cf. infant)). Meaning… …   Etymology dictionary

  • infantry — ► NOUN ▪ foot soldiers collectively. DERIVATIVES infantryman noun. ORIGIN Italian infanteria, from infante youth, infantryman …   English terms dictionary

  • Infantry — For the computer game, see Infantry (computer game). Warfare Military history Eras Prehistoric Ancient …   Wikipedia

  • infantry — [[t]ɪ̱nfəntri[/t]] N UNCOUNT COLL Infantry are soldiers who fight on foot rather than in tanks or on horses. The infantry were advancing to attack the ridge... The enemy infantry was hiding. infantry division. ...regiments of infantry …   English dictionary

  • infantry — n. light; motorized; mountain infantry * * * [ ɪnfəntrɪ] motorized mountain infantry light …   Combinatory dictionary

  • infantry — noun (plural tries) Etymology: Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French infanterie, from Old Italian infanteria, from infante boy, foot soldier, from Latin infant , infans Date: 1579 1. a. soldiers trained, armed, and equipped to fight on foot… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • infantry — /in feuhn tree/, n., pl. infantries. 1. soldiers or military units that fight on foot, in modern times typically with rifles, machine guns, grenades, mortars, etc., as weapons. 2. a branch of an army composed of such soldiers. [1570 80; < It… …   Universalium

  • infantry — noun a) Soldiers who fight on foot (on land), as opposed to cavalry and other mounted units, regardless of external transport (e.g. airborne). b) The part of an army consisting of infantry soldiers, especially opposed to mounted and technical… …   Wiktionary

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