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[es-kwahyuh r, e-skwahyuh r] /ˈɛs kwaɪər, ɛˈskwaɪər/

(initial capital letter) an unofficial title of respect, having no precise significance, sometimes placed, especially in its abbreviated form, after a man’s surname in formal written address: in the U.S., usually applied to lawyers, women as well as men; in Britain, applied to a commoner considered to have gained the social position of a gentleman.
Abbreviation: Esq.
(def 2).
a man belonging to the order of English gentry ranking next below a knight.
Archaic. (def 1).
verb (used with object), esquired, esquiring.
to raise to the rank of esquire.
to address as “Esquire.”.
to escort or attend in public.
(mainly Brit) a title of respect, usually abbreviated Esq, placed after a man’s name
(in medieval times) the attendant and shield bearer of a knight, subsequently often knighted himself
(rare) a male escort

late 14c., from Middle French esquier “squire,” literally “shield-bearer” (for a knight), from Old French escuyer, from Vulgar Latin scutarius “shield-bearer, guardsman” (in classical Latin, “shield-maker”), from scutum “shield” (see hide (n.1)).

For initial e-, see especial. Cf. squire. Originally the feudal rank below knight, sense broadened 16c. to a general title of courtesy or respect for the educated class, especially, later, in U.S., for lawyers.


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