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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English esquire, from Old French escuier, from Latin scūtārius(shield-bearer), from scūtum(shield).


squire (plural squires)

  1. A shield-bearer or armor-bearer who attended a knight.
  2. A title of dignity next in degree below knight, and above gentleman. See esquire.
  3. A male attendant on a great personage.
  4. A devoted attendant or follower of a lady; a beau.
  5. A title of office and courtesy. See under esquire.
  6. (Britain, colloquial) Term of address to an equal.
    • 1969, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Dead Parrot sketch
      Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of parrots.


squire (third-person singular simple present squires, present participle squiring, simple past and past participle squired)

  1. To attend as a squire.
    • 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue,” lines 303-307,[1]
      And yet of our apprentice Ianekyn,
      For his crisp heer, shyninge as gold so fyn,
      And for he squiereth me bothe up and doun,
      Yet hastow caught a fals suspecioun;
      I wol hym noght, thogh thou were deed to-morwe.
  2. To attend as a beau, or gallant, for aid and protection.
    • 1753, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Chapter 48, [2]
      On some occasions, he displayed all his fund of good humour, with a view to beguile her sorrow; he importuned her to give him the pleasure of squiring her to some place of innocent entertainment; and, finally, insisted upon her accepting a pecuniary reinforcement to her finances, which he knew to be in a most consumptive condition.
    • 1759, Oliver Goldsmith, “On Dress,” in The Bee, 13 October, 1759,[3]
      Perceiving, however, that I had on my best wig, she offered, if I would ’squire her there, to send home the footman.
    • 1812, Henry Weber (ed.), The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, Volume 3, p. 326, footnote 3,[4]
      To man a lady was, in former times, a phrase similar to the vulgar one at present in use, to squire.
    • 1821, Walter Scott, Kenilworth, Chapter 4,[5]
      Yes, such a thing as thou wouldst make of me should wear a book at his girdle instead of a poniard, and might just be suspected of manhood enough to squire a proud dame-citizen to the lecture at Saint Antonlin’s, and quarrel in her cause with any flat-capped threadmaker that would take the wall of her.
    • 1936, Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind, Part One, Chapter 1,[6]
      And raising good cotton, riding well, shooting straight, dancing lightly, squiring the ladies with elegance and carrying one’s liquor like a gentleman were the things that mattered.
    • 1988, Edmund White, The Beautiful Room is Empty, New York: Vintage International, 1994, Chapter Six,
      A butch entered squiring a blonde whore tottering along on spike heels under dairy whip hair, her chubby hand rising again and again to tuck a stray wisp back into the creamy dome.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle French esquierre(rule, carpenter's square), from Old French esquarre(square) See square.


squire (plural squires)

  1. (obsolete) A ruler; a carpenter's square; a measure.