es·​quire | \ ˈe-ˌskwī(-ə)r How to pronounce esquire (audio) , i-ˈskwī(-ə)r How to pronounce esquire (audio) \

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 often by attorneys usually placed in its abbreviated form after the surnameJohn R. Smith, Esq.
4 archaic : a landed proprietor

First Known Use of esquire

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for esquire

Middle English, from Anglo-French esquier squire, from Late Latin scutarius, from Latin scutum shield; akin to Old Irish sciath shield

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The first known use of esquire was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Esquire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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es·​quire | \ ˈes-ˌkwīr How to pronounce esquire (audio) \

Legal Definition of esquire

used as a title of courtesy for lawyers usually placed in its abbreviated form after the name and capitalized John R. Smith, Esq. Jane L. Smith, Esq.

History and Etymology for esquire

Middle French escuier squire, from Late Latin scutarius shield bearer, from Latin scutum shield

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