[ es-kwahyuhr, e-skwahyuhr ]
See synonyms for: esquireesquires on

  1. (initial capital letter) an unofficial title of respect, having no precise significance, sometimes placed, especially in its abbreviated form, after a man's surname in formal written address: in the U.S., usually applied to lawyers, women as well as men; in Britain, applied to a commoner considered to have gained the social position of a gentleman. Abbreviation: Esq.

  1. a man belonging to the order of English gentry ranking next below a knight.

  2. Archaic. squire (def. 1).

verb (used with object),es·quired, es·quir·ing.
  1. to raise to the rank of esquire.

  2. to address as “Esquire.”

  1. to escort or attend in public.

Origin of esquire

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English esquier, from Middle French escuier, from Latin scūtārius “shield bearer,” from scūt(um) scutum + -ārius -ary

Words Nearby esquire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use esquire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for esquire


/ (ɪˈskwaɪə) /

  1. mainly British a title of respect, usually abbreviated Esq, placed after a man's name

  2. (in medieval times) the attendant and shield bearer of a knight, subsequently often knighted himself

  1. rare a male escort

Origin of esquire

C15: from Old French escuier, from Late Latin scūtārius shield bearer, from Latin scūtum shield

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012