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.

Origin of sir

1250–1300; Middle English; unstressed variant of sire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sir's


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

Word Origin for sir

C13: variant of sire


  1. a title of honour placed before the name of a knight or baronetSir Walter Raleigh
  2. 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's


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