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See also: herr



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Proper noun[edit]

Herr (plural Herrs)

  1. A surname​.


German Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia de

Alternative forms[edit]

  • Herre (archaic)
  • Herꝛ (archaic; sometimes used in fraktur)


From Old High German hēriro, hērro (grey, grey-haired), the comparative form of hēr (noble, venerable) (by analogy with Latin senior (elder)), from Proto-Germanic *hairaz (grey). Cognate with Dutch heer, Swedish herre, Old English hār, English hoar, Old Norse hárr, compare also modern German hehr (noble, holy), herrschen (to rule).


  • (Germany) IPA(key): /hɛʁ/, [hɛʁ], [hɛɐ̯] (Germany)
  • (Austria, Switzerland) IPA(key): /hɛr/ (Austria and Switzerland)
  • (Austria)
    IPA(key): [dɜɾ‿hɛr]
  • (file)
    IPA(key): [hɛɐ̯]
  • Homophones: Heer, hehr, her (nonstandard)


Herr m (genitive Herrn or Herren, plural Herren or Herrn, diminutive Herrchen n)

  1. Mr., mister, sir
    Herr Schmidt
    Mr. Schmidt
  2. gentleman
    Meine Damen und Herren...
    Ladies and gentlemen...
  3. master, lord (generally denotes that somebody has control over something, either in a generic or in a regal sense)
    Herr der Lage sein
    to be master of the situation
    Weil die Tiere auf seinen Wink reagieren, nennt man ihn den Herren der Wölfe.
    Because the animals are at his beck and call, he is called Lord of the Wolves.
    • Who is the ruler/owner of these lands? The Count of Karabas., Der gestiefelte Kater:
      Wer ist Herr dieser Landen? Der Graf von Karabas.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  4. Lord, God
    Das Haus des Herrn
    The House of God
  5. title of respect; either not translated into English or replaced with Sir
    Herr Doktor von BraunDr. von Braun
    Herr ProfessorDr. (Ph.D.) / Professor
    Jawohl, Herr Oberst!Yes, sir! (Because Herr already is a respectful form of address, adding a term like sir is unnecessary) (literally, “Yes, Mr. Colonel.”)
    Mein Herr? Sie haben Ihre Uhr verloren.Sir? You've lost your watch. (standard usage between strangers)

Usage notes[edit]

  • Omitting Herr (or the female form Frau) when addressing a person with their last name is usually perceived as disrespectful, but it is more common when speaking about somebody who is not present, except in formal contexts. However, there may be contextual pitfalls and regional differences, which makes it advisable for learners not to leave out Herr (and Frau).
  • When people address each other with their last name, but say du to each other, the words Herr and Frau are always left out in most regions. In parts of western Germany, however, there is (or was) a system of saying du and Herr (Frau) among coworkers.


  • The forms Herrn and Herren were originally simple phonetic/graphic variants. Both were used for the singular and plural inflections. In contemporary standard German they are—usually—distinguished functionally, Herrn being the inflected singular, Herren the plural.
  • Contemporary standard:
  • Without functional split of -n/-en:

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Herr in Duden online


Alternative forms[edit]

  • hër (Portuguese based orthography)


From Old High German hēriro, hērro, the comparative form of hēr (noble, venerable) (German hehr), by analogy with Latin senior (elder).



Herr m (plural Herre)

  1. Mr., mister, sir
  2. gentleman
  3. master, lord, generally denotes that somebody has control over something, either in a generic or in a regal sense
  4. Lord, God
  5. Used as a title of respect that is not translated into English or replaced with Sir

Further reading[edit]