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See also: Squire


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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 a male 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.
Derived terms[edit]


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

  1. (transitive) 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. (transitive) 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.
    Synonym: escort

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English squire, borrowed from Middle French esquierre (rule, carpenter's square), or from Old French esquire, another form of esquarre (square). Cognate with French équerre. Doublet of square.


squire (plural squires)

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