a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir.
(initial capital letter) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott.
(initial capital letter) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy.
a lord or gentleman: noble sirs and ladies.
an ironic or humorous title of respect: sir critic.
Archaic. a title of respect used before a noun to designate profession, rank, etc.: sir priest; sir clerk.

Nearby words

  1. sippy cup,
  2. sips,
  3. sipunculid,
  4. siqueiros,
  5. siqueiros, david alfaro,
  6. sir gawain and the green knight,
  7. sir roger de coverley,
  8. sir sandford,
  9. sir wilfrid laurier,
  10. sir-reverence

Origin of sir

1250–1300; Middle English; unstressed variant of sire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sir

British Dictionary definitions for sir



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

Word Origin for sir

C13: variant of sire



a title of honour placed before the name of a knight or baronetSir Walter Raleigh
archaic a title placed before the name of a figure from ancient history
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 sir


c.1300, title of honor of a knight or baronet (until 17c. also a title of priests), variant of sire, originally used only in unstressed position. Generalized as a respectful form of address by mid-14c.; used as a salutation at the beginning of letters from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper