\ ˈsī(-ə)r How to pronounce sire (audio) \

Definition of sire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : father
b archaic : male ancestor : forefather
2a archaic : a man of rank or authority especially : lord used formerly as a form of address and as a title
b obsolete : an elderly man : senior
3 : the male parent of an animal and especially of a domestic animal


sired; siring

Definition of sire (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : beget used especially of male domestic animals
2 : to bring into being : originate

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Synonyms for sire

Synonyms: Noun

dad, daddy, father, old man, pa, papa (also poppa), pater [chiefly British], pop

Synonyms: Verb

beget, father, get

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Examples of sire in a Sentence


his sire had been a renowned Wall Street lawyer the revered sire of the impressionist movement in art


The horse sired several champion racers. the champion racehorse went on to sire a long line of winners
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Two weeks ago, California-sire Curlin to Mischief picked up his first win as a papa with 2-year-old Monstrodomous at Golden Gate Fields. Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Look at Del Mar’s stakes for next meeting," 29 Aug. 2019 In addition to that bloodline, Intrepid Heart's dam sire Touch Gold won the Belmont Stakes in 1997. Mark Inabinett |,, "Rewinding the Belmont Stakes 2019: Sir Winston wins," 8 June 2019 The son of sire Union Rags will get another shot with a record of seven wins in his eight career starts. Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Catalina Cruiser has to hustle for close win in O’Brien Stakes," 24 Aug. 2019 The filly’s sire is Into Mischief, while Arrogate’s is Unbridled’s Song. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ollie’s Candy produces sweet dirt run to win Grade I Hirsch at Del Mar," 28 July 2019 Tacitus, Intrepid Heart and Bourbon War are sons of Tapit, the sire of the past three Belmont Stakes winners who weren't also Triple Crown champions -- Tonalist in 2014, Creator in 2016 and Tapwrit in 2017. Mark Inabinett |,, "Belmont Stakes 2019 updated odds: Bettors backing Tacitus," 8 June 2019 The favorite is Tacitus, whose father is the legendary sire Tapit; second-favorite is War of Will, who won the Preakness. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "What time is the Belmont Stakes?," 8 June 2019 Now, these sires will face-off in a head-to-gorgeous-head competition. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "Welcome to March Dadness," 22 Mar. 2019 The sire, whose sperm was frozen in 2011, was himself a calf born of the SCBI’s early artificial insemination pilot programs in the 1990s. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Though Spotigy was sacrificed for research, Buri lived on to sire 17 offspring—one of whom graced the cover of Wired, as MIT Technology Review notes. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Part cow, part… bacterium? Biotech company makes heifer of gene-editing blunder," 1 Sep. 2019 Hronis Racing paid $850,000 at the March OBS sale for Inspiressa, sired by The Big Beast. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hollendorfer notches first stakes win at Del Mar after ban was struck down," 11 Aug. 2019 The original Chucky -- unleashed in 1988, before siring a half-dozen sequels -- wasn't exactly a model of creativity, planting a serial killer's consciousness inside the big-eyed doll. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Child's Play' revives killer doll with tech twist and Mark Hamill," 20 June 2019 Tapit has sired three of the past five Belmont winners, and the bloodlines are strong on the female side, too., "Clancy’s Call of the Belmont Stakes," 7 June 2019 And while these top-ranking males sire more than 70 percent of offspring, other males sneak clandestine copulations. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "A Primer to Our Planet of Monkeys," 12 June 2019 He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Wesley Pruden, Washington Times editor and pugnacious conservative columnist, dies at 83," 18 July 2019 Son of multiple Grade 1 winner Constitution (sired by Tapit) should be in an ideal spot after breaking from the outside post in a field of five., "Clancy’s Call: Saratoga," 12 July 2019 Males in musth are so attractive to females that almost 80 percent of calves in the same population are sired by them, according to a 2007 study. Grant Currin, National Geographic, "Elderly male elephants are the most determined to mate," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sire


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sire


Middle English, from Anglo-French, lord, feudal superior, from Vulgar Latin *seior, alteration of Latin senior older — more at senior

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Statistics for sire

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for sire

The first known use of sire was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for sire



English Language Learners Definition of sire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used formerly to address a man of rank or authority (such as a king or lord)
technical : a male parent of some animals (such as dogs and horses)



English Language Learners Definition of sire (Entry 2 of 2)

of an animal : to become the father of (an animal)
old-fashioned : to become the father of (a child)


\ ˈsīr How to pronounce sire (audio) \

Kids Definition of sire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : father entry 1 sense 1
2 : the male parent of a domestic animal
3 used in the past to address a man of rank (as a king) Your horses are ready, sire.


sired; siring

Kids Definition of sire (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become the father of


\ ˈsī(ə)r How to pronounce sire (audio) \

Medical Definition of sire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the male parent of an animal and especially of a domestic animal
sired; siring

Medical Definition of sire (Entry 2 of 2)

: to procreate as the male parent of

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More from Merriam-Webster on sire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sire

Spanish Central: Translation of sire

Nglish: Translation of sire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sire for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sire

What made you want to look up sire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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