Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A man or boy who is a member of the gentry in England ranking directly below a knight.
  • noun Used as an honorific usually in its abbreviated form, especially after the name of an attorney or a consular officer.
  • noun Chiefly British A barrister-at-law.
  • noun In medieval times, a candidate for knighthood who served a knight as an attendant and a shield bearer.
  • noun Archaic An English country gentleman; a squire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In heraldry, a bearing somewhat resembling the gyron, but extending across the field so that the point touches the opposite edge of the escutcheon.
  • To attend; wait on; escort, as a gentleman attending a lady in public. Todd. See squire, verb
  • noun A shield-bearer or armor-bearer; an armiger; an attendant on a knight. See squire, 1.
  • noun A title of dignity next in degree below that of knight.
  • noun A gentleman who attends or escorts a lady in public.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Originally, a shield-bearer or armor-bearer, an attendant on a knight; in modern times, a title of dignity next in degree below knight and above gentleman; also, a title of office and courtesy; -- often shortened to squire.
  • transitive verb colloq. To wait on as an esquire or attendant in public; to attend.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun heraldry A bearing somewhat resembling a gyron, but extending across the field so that the point touches the opposite edge of the escutcheon.
  • noun archaic a squire; a youth who in the hopes of becoming a knight attended upon a knight
  • noun a lawyer
  • noun obsolete a shield-bearer, but also applied to other attendants.
  • noun a male member of the gentry ranking below a knight
  • noun an honorific sometimes placed after a man's name
  • noun A gentleman who attends or escorts a lady in public.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To attend, wait on, escort.

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

  • noun a title of respect for a member of the English gentry ranking just below a knight; placed after the name
  • noun (Middle Ages) an attendant and shield bearer to a knight; a candidate for knighthood

Etymologies

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

[Middle English esquier, from Old French escuier, from Late Latin scūtārius, shield bearer, from Latin scūtum, shield; see skei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French esquiere, esquierre, esquarre ("a square")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French escuyer, escuier, properly, a shield-bearer, French écuyer ("shield-bearer, armor-bearer"), (by apheresis)  ("squire of a knight, esquire, equerry, rider, horseman"), Late Latin scutarius ("shield-bearer"), from Latin scutum ("shield"), akin to Greek skin, hide, from a root meaning to cover; probably akin to English hide to cover. Compare equerry, escutcheon.

Examples

  • "No, I haven't even the title esquire, which, I understand, all American citizens possess."

    One Day's Courtship

  • "Why," replied old Bartlemy, slowly, as his gaze wandered from face to face, "the esquire is the false priest from Oundle, and the young lady is his novice."

    A Boy's Ride

  • Stephen Romylowe is expressly called esquire of Edward prince of Wales (the Black Prince), and he held an annuity from that prince.

    Chaucer's Official Life

  • Here an exclamation of "Mercy, mercy!" called the esquire's attention, and he beheld his amiable consort sinking aghast, with uplifted hands on

    Eventide A Series of Tales and Poems

  • The Spanish kings, in conformity to the martial spirit of the times when cards were introduced, were all mounted on horseback, as befitted generals and commanders-in-chief; but their next in command (among the cards) was el caballo, the knight-errant on horseback -- for the old Spanish cards had no queens; and the third in order was the soto, or attendant, that is, the esquire, or armour-bearer of the knight -- all which was exactly conformable to those ideas of chivalry which ruled the age.

    The Gaming Table : Its Votaries and Victims : Vol. 2

  • + 'The Hunt for Red October' [ 'Mace Neufeld'/'Neufeld, Mace'] [ 'Paramount Pictures'] + 'esquire':

    united states of america constitutional signaturee gate

  • + 'The Hunt for Red October' [ 'Mace Neufeld'/'Neufeld, Mace'] [ 'Paramount Pictures'] + 'esquire':

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • In the world of the Thirteenthers, though, it's all a conspiracy, and the leading suspects are those shady characters who put "esquire" after their names.

    Iowa GOP Embraces Plan To Strip Obama's Citizenship For Accepting Nobel Prize [UPDATE]

  • In the world of the Thirteenthers, though, it's all a conspiracy, and the leading suspects are those shady characters who put "esquire" after their names.

    Iowa GOP Embraces Plan To Strip Obama's Citizenship For Accepting Nobel Prize [UPDATE]

  • An appellate judge who has been in that position since working as a professor is as disconnected from the legal practice as anyone who cannot claim "esquire" as a title.

    Real diversity on the Supreme Court.

Comments

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  • "And how funny it'll seem, sending presents to one's own feet! And how odd the directions will look!

         ALICE's RIGHT FOOT, ESQ.

         HEARTH-RUG,

         NEAR THE FENDER,

         (WITH ALICE's LOVE).

    "

    - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    July 18, 2008

  • Sounds like the letters S K Y R.

    October 31, 2009