esquire

noun
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 surname John 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

Learn More About esquire

Time Traveler for esquire

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near esquire

Esquimau

esquire

esquire's helmet

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for esquire

Cite this Entry

“Esquire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/esquire. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for esquire

esquire

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on esquire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for esquire

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about esquire

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!