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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Esquire a title of respect for a member of the English gentry ranking just below a knight; placed after the name
    • n esquire (Middle Ages) an attendant and shield bearer to a knight; a candidate for knighthood
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Esquire 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.☞ In England, the title of esquire belongs by right of birth to the eldest sons of knights and their eldest sons in perpetual succession; to the eldest sons of younger sons of peers and their eldest sons in perpetual succession. It is also given to sheriffs, to justices of the peace while in commission, to those who bear special office in the royal household, to counselors at law, bachelors of divinity, law, or physic, and to others. In the United States the title is commonly given in courtesy to lawyers and justices of the peace, and is often used in the superscription of letters instead of Mr.
    • v. t Esquire To wait on as an esquire or attendant in public; to attend.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n esquire A shield-bearer or armor-bearer; an armiger; an attendant on a knight. See squire, 1.
    • n esquire A title of dignity next in degree below that of knight. In England this title is properly given to the eldest sons of knights and the eldest sons of the younger sons of noblemen and their eldest sons in succession, officers of the king's courts and of the household, barristers, justices of the peace while in commission, sheriffs, gentlemen who have held commissions in the army and navy, etc. There are also esquires of knights of the Bath, each knight appointing three at his installation. The title is now usually conceded to all professional and literary men. In the United States the title is regarded as belonging especially to lawyers. In legal and other formal documents Esquire is usually written in full after the names of those considered entitled to the designation; in common usage it is abbreviated Esq. or Esqr., and appended to any man's name as a mere mark of respect, as in the addresses of letters (though this practice is becoming less prevalent than formerly). In the general sense, and as a title either alone or prefixed to a name, the form Squire has always been the more common in familiar use. See squire.
    • n esquire A gentleman who attends or escorts a lady in public.
    • esquire To attend; wait on; escort, as a gentleman attending a lady in public. Todd. See squire, verb
    • n esquire In heraldry, a bearing somewhat resembling the gyron, but extending across the field so that the point touches the opposite edge of the escutcheon.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Esquire es-kwīr′ (orig.) a squire or shield-bearer: an attendant on a knight: a landed proprietor: a title of dignity next below a knight: a title given to younger sons of noblemen, &c.: a general title of respect in addressing letters.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. escuyer, escuier, properly, a shield-bearer, F. écuyer, shield-bearer, armor-bearer, squire of a knight, esquire, equerry, rider, horseman, LL. scutarius, shield-bearer, fr. L. scutum, shield, akin to Gr. skin, hide, from a root meaning to cover,; prob. akin to E. hide, to cover. See Hide to cover, and cf. Equerry Escutcheon
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. esquier (Fr. écuyer)—L. scutariusscutum, a shield.


In literature:

They're directed 'Drake Vernon, Esquire,' so they must be for you!
"Nell, of Shorne Mills" by Charles Garvice
Ah, there you are, my young esquire!
"The King's Esquires" by George Manville Fenn
Timothy Foster, and GW Kendall, Esquire, a committee to nominate officers.
"Diary in America, Series Two" by Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
Herman Merivale, Esquire, Colonial Office.
"Handbook to the new Gold-fields" by R. M. Ballantyne
And about this time it was that Richard Wedgwood, Esquire, from Cheshire, came over to Burslem on horseback.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13" by Elbert Hubbard
Taylor, late of the Inner Temple, Esquire.
"The Jacobite Rebellions (1689-1746)" by James Pringle Thomson
He seemed to see Dick eying a letter addressed to William Barry, Esquire.
"Jewel Weed" by Alice Ames Winter
One day a box arrived marked private, and addressed to S. Fluke, Esquire.
"Owen Hartley; or, Ups and Downs" by William H. G. Kingston
The next Governor of Lower Canada was Robert S. Milnes, Esquire.
"The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation" by Charles Roger
He first attracted the attention of the king at a tilting match, at which he was the esquire to Lord Dingwall.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
King Edward himself climbed over the bows of a French ship, risking his life as freely as the youngest of his esquires.
"Famous Sea Fights" by John Richard Hale
My gentle esquire came to acquaint me with it, and brought me back to the scene of action.
"Memoirs Of Fanny Hill" by John Cleland
A member of Parliament was by law an esquire, and therefore a gentleman.
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope
Draw it to James Barron, Esquire.
"Witness to the Deed" by George Manville Fenn
When a boy grew older he ceased to be a page, and became an esquire.
"The Children's Book of London" by Geraldine Edith Mitton
Esquire, when used, 121.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
The hero casts in his lot with the Percys, and becomes esquire to Sir Henry, the gallant Hotspur.
"Condemned as a Nihilist" by George Alfred Henty
With mouthing words that better wits have framed, They purchase lands and now esquires are made.
"Shakespeare's Family" by Mrs. C. C. Stopes
The compliments of Mister Towsley Lionel Towhead Armacost, esquire!
"Divided Skates" by Evelyn Raymond
"The Memoirs, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson A Linked Index to the Project Gutenberg Editions" by Thomas Jefferson

In poetry:

Turn key and lift bar,
And loose bolt and chain;
But Love took in his esquire, Grief,
And there they both remain.
"Love's Castle" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
"Oh, BAINES CAREW, my woe I've kept
A secret hitherto, you know;" -
To hear that BAGG HAD any woe.)
"Baines Carew, Gentleman" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"Be not afraid, tanner," said our king;
"I tell thee, so mote I thee,
Lo here I make thee the best esquire
That is in the north countrie.
"King Edward IV. And The Tanner Of Tamworth" by Henry Morley
The girls (just like them!) all agree
To praise J. Jones, Esquire:
I ask them what on earth they see
About him to admire?
They cry "He is so sleek and slim,
It's quite a treat to look at him!"
"Size And Tears" by Lewis Carroll
IX. The noble Baron turn'd him round, his heart was full of care,
His gallant Esquire stood him nigh, he was Marstetten's heir,
To whom he spoke right anxiously, "Thou trusty squire to me,
Wilt thou receive this weighty trust when I am o'er the sea?
"The Noble Moringer" by Sir Walter Scott

In news:

Published in Esquire's Spring 2012 Big Black Book, on newsstands now.
Orangefield man's Fender Esquire could fetch up to $24K.
Can you blame us for putting James Franco on the cover of Esquire.
The actor, who divorced Robin Wright after fourteen years in 2010, recently opened up about marriage in an interview with Esquire.
Jim, Bob, and Marcus (and Ed) at The Esquire talk with Matt Daniels from while enjoying free pizza.
The late great iconoclast and Esquire essayist, now dead at 86, on God and writing and disease and his legacy and more.
Esquire's Traditional Holiday Gumbo .
Baco Mercat, BierBeisl, Gusto on Esquire list, but about that chef.
Ted Allen Job: Host of the Food Network's Food Detectives, Esquire scribe, author of The Food You Want to Eat.
Here is what Aykroyd told Esquire, on the rights issue.
Originally published in Esquire's October 1993 issue.
With new gadgets in hand — and the wife and dog in tow — Esquire's Digital Man rolls out of this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
Mila Kunis is, indeed, Esquire's 'Sexiest Woman Alive 2012.
Mila Kunis on the cover of Esquire.
Those surveyed in the Esquire/Yahoo poll did say they found Obama's ads more honest.