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esquire

[es-kwahyuh r, e-skwahyuh r]
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noun
  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.
  2. squire(def 2).
  3. a man belonging to the order of English gentry ranking next below a knight.
  4. Archaic. squire(def 1).
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verb (used with object), es·quired, es·quir·ing.
  1. to raise to the rank of esquire.
  2. to address as “Esquire.”
  3. to escort or attend in public.
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Origin of esquire

1425–75; late Middle English esquier < Middle French escuier < Latin scūtārius shield bearer, equivalent to scūt(um) (see scutage) + -ārius -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for esquired

esquire

noun
  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
  3. rare a male escort
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for esquired

esquire

n.

late 14c., from Middle French esquier "squire," literally "shield-bearer" (for a knight), from Old French escuyer, from Vulgar Latin scutarius "shield-bearer, guardsman" (in classical Latin, "shield-maker"), from scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)).

For initial e-, see especial. Cf. squire. Originally the feudal rank below knight, sense broadened 16c. to a general title of courtesy or respect for the educated class, especially, later, in U.S., for lawyers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper