Definition of esquire
1 : a member of the English gentry ranking below a knight
2 : a candidate for knighthood serving as shield bearer and attendant to a knight
3 —used as a title of courtesy usually placed in its abbreviated form after the surname <John R. Smith, Esq.>
4 archaic : a landed proprietor
Origin of esquire
Middle English, from Anglo-French esquier squire, from Late Latin scutarius, from Latin scutum shield; akin to Old Irish sciath shield
First Known Use: 15th century
Learn More about esquire
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "esquire"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up esquire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).