Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A writing table; a desk.
  • n. A desk with a top section for books.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A writing desk with a hinged door that provides the writing surface.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of furniture used as a writing table, commonly with drawers, pigeonholes, and the like; a secretary or writing desk.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A piece of furniture with conveniences for writing, as an opening top or falling front panel, places for inkstand, pens, and stationery, etc.; also, a tray to hold inkstand, pens, and other implements for writing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a desk used for writing

Etymologies

Obsolete French, from Old French escriptoire, study, from Medieval Latin scrīptōrium; see scriptorium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French, from escrire, obsolete form of écrire + -oire, indicating a tool or object. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Will you have the courage to burn family relics?--Aunt Maria's uncomfortable ottoman, Aunt Elizabeth's escritoire, which is too small to write at, and Aunt Anne's firescreen with strawberries worked in bead-work?

    There was a King in Egypt

  • I was awakened one night from a sound sleep by a noise in my chamber, and starting up in affright, I beheld by the light of a lamp which was burning near the bed, a boy in the act of forcing open my escritoire, with a small instrument which caused the noise.

    City Crimes or Life in New York and Boston

  • After a moment's consultation with her daughter, Mrs. Franklin left the room to get the money from her escritoire.

    City Crimes or Life in New York and Boston

  • Nothing had been disturbed -- the old cabinet with the lions 'heads stood opposite the window; the little escritoire, behind which he had crouched on the fatal night, was pushed back against the wall; the chairs, the tables, thick with dust, stood just as they had been standing for many years.

    The Inn at the Red Oak

  • Then he sat himself in his large arm-chair before his escritoire, and began transacting his affairs with the usual -- "But where is that idiot, that dolt, that sluggard, that snail, withn my mail?"

    Balcony Stories

  • The floor, the chairs--not common ones but of the early Queen Anne fashion with leathern seats -- an old escritoire, were strewn with papers.

    Madame Flirt A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera'

  • She rose, and went hunting in a littered sort of escritoire in a corner of the room.

    Movie Night

  • She put down her cigarette, rose, and went to an escritoire against the wall.

    Isabelle

  • Dela garde watched her seat herself at the little escritoire in the corner, and draw a sheaf of crested paper towards her.

    Gatlinburg

  • She had her heart set on that Louis Seize escritoire -- but she'll have to make do without it.

    Erica Jong: A Busted Father Writes to His Kids

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.