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

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

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esquire's helmet

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Cite this Entry

“Esquire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for esquire


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 Encyclopedia article about esquire


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