View synonyms for sir


[ sur ]


  1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man:

    No, sir.

  2. (initial capital letter) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet:

    Sir Walter Scott.

  3. (initial capital letter) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times:

    Sir Pandarus of Troy.

  4. a lord or gentleman:

    noble sirs and ladies.

  5. an ironic or humorous title of respect:

    sir critic.

  6. Archaic. a title of respect used before a noun to designate profession, rank, etc.:

    sir priest; sir clerk.



/ sɜː /


  1. a formal or polite term of address for a man
  2. archaic.
    a gentleman of high social status



/ sɜː /


  1. a title of honour placed before the name of a knight or baronet

    Sir Walter Raleigh

  2. archaic.
    a title placed before the name of a figure from ancient history
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Word History and Origins

Origin of sir1

1250–1300; Middle English; unstressed variant of sire
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Word History and Origins

Origin of sir1

C13: variant of sire
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Example Sentences

Female employees were not allowed to wear pants, and employees addressed their superiors as “sir” or “ma’am.”

Faruqui addressed the intruder, who was only a few years older as “sir.”

From Time

Now that he was Sir Alfred, there was one final blast of publicity.

After his knighthood, I stop by to see him and call him Sir Alfred.

De Mena offers me a glass of Sir Francis Drake, Casa Bruja's red ale.

Sir Bob, 63, responded with his usual colorful language to his critics.

Good old Sir Bob Geldof stepping into the breach again to raise money for crisis-hit Africa?

The old man seemed to be greatly agitated, and hurriedly whispering, "We thought you were never coming, sir!"

Mr. Pickwick—deepest obligations—life preserver—made a man of me—you shall never repent it, sir.

Sir Cadge was about the same age as the famous beauty, and rose quite two inches above her lofty head.

I wouldn't go on if I were you, sir; the luck's dead against you to-night; I wouldn't go on, indeed I wouldn't.

No, Sir, said the other, nothing at all except the enjoyment of your good company: and so gave over importuning him.


Related Words

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More About Sir

What is a basic definition of sir?

Sir is a respectful form of address for a man or a term for a gentleman. When capitalized, Sir is used as a title for a knight. The word sir has a few other senses as a noun.

Sir is a respectful term used to address a man. Sir is especially likely to be used to refer to a person of higher rank or authority. In this sense, sir is the male equivalent of madam or ma’am.

  • Real-life examples: Waiters or other service workers are very likely to use sir when addressing male customers. Members of the military will refer to superior officers as sir or ma’am when not using their title or rank. A person may refer to their boss or manager as sir.
  • Used in a sentence: The recruits answered the drill sergeant with a loud “Sir, yes, sir!”

Sir can also be used to refer to a gentleman or a lord, especially in a formal setting.

  • Used in a sentence: I meant no offense to the good sir or his noble family.

The capitalized Sir indicates that a man is a knight or a baronet.

  • Real-life examples: Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawain were two of the knights who served the legendary King Arthur. Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Walter Raleigh are famous historical figures who were knighted. Sir Sean Connery, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Sir Ian McKellan are three modern actors who were knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Used in a sentence: Because Gregory had served Great Britain loyally for over 50 years, he was knighted and became Sir Gregory.

Where does sir come from?

The first records of sir come from around 1250. It comes from Middle English and is an unstressed variant of the word sire, another formal term of address for men.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to sir?

  • sirs (plural noun)

What are some synonyms for sir?

What are some words that share a root or word element with sir

What are some words that often get used in discussing sir?

What are some words sir may be commonly confused with?

How is sir used in real life?

Sir is a common form of address used for men, especially by people showing respect or formality.

Try using sir!

True or False?

Sir is a formal title that indicates that a man is a captain of a ship.