Definitions

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

  • n. A man who attends or escorts a woman; a gallant.
  • n. An English country gentleman, especially the chief landowner in a district.
  • n. A judge or another local dignitary.
  • n. A young nobleman attendant upon a knight and ranked next below a knight in feudal hierarchy.
  • transitive v. To attend as a squire; escort.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A shield-bearer or armor-bearer who attended a knight.
  • n. A title of dignity next in degree below knight, and above gentleman. See esquire.
  • n. A male attendant on a great personage.
  • n. A devoted attendant or follower of a lady; a beau.
  • n. A title of office and courtesy. See under esquire.
  • v. To attend as a squire
  • v. To attend as a beau, or gallant, for aid and protection
  • n. A ruler; a carpenter's square; a measure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A square; a measure; a rule.
  • n. A shield-bearer or armor-bearer who attended a knight.
  • n. A title of dignity next in degree below knight, and above gentleman. See Esquire.
  • n. A male attendant on a great personage; also (Colloq.), a devoted attendant or follower of a lady; a beau.
  • n. A title of office and courtesy. See under Esquire.
  • transitive v. To attend as a squire.
  • transitive v. To attend as a beau, or gallant, for aid and protection.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An esquire; an attendant on a knight.
  • n. A gentleman who attends upon a lady; an escort; a beau; a gallant.
  • n. A person not noble nor a knight, but who has received a grant of arms.
  • n. In England, a landed proprietor who is also justice of the peace: a term nearly equivalent to lord of the manor, as meaning the holder of most of the land in any neighborhood.
  • n. In the United States, in country districts and towns, a justice of the peace, a local judge, or other local dignitary: chiefly used as a title.
  • To attend and wait upon, as a squire his lord.
  • To attend, as a gentleman a lady; wait upon or attend upon in the manner of a squire; escort.
  • n. An old form of square.
  • n. The schnapper when two years old. See schnapper.

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

  • n. an English country landowner
  • n. a man who attends or escorts a woman
  • v. attend upon as a squire; serve as a squire
  • n. young nobleman attendant on a knight

Etymologies

Middle English squier, from Old French esquier; see esquire.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English esquire, from Old French, from Latin scutarius ("shield-bearer") (Wiktionary)
From Middle French esquierre ("rule, carpenter's square"), from Old French esquarre ("square") See square. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They're nothing to him, just ants; the squire is another Harry Lime, moved back some generations and up a few rungs on the social ladder.

    The Mannionville Daily Gazettes Favorite Blog of the Day: Favorite Film Blogger Anniversary Edition

  • Sancho the trusty albeit sarcastic squire is one of the best characters in literature and is reason enough to read this tome.

    Chris in Albania:

  • So he called his squire, Barthélemy de Clefmont, and bade him summon his spears and mount and ride.

    The Red True Story Book

  • But I'll tell you what, Mr. Hubbard: your mother was never so astonished at her dog as old Van Diemen would be to hear himself called squire in Old England.

    The House on the Beach

  • While the falcon held the rat in his claws and struck him with his beak again and again, she called the squire to her, and bade him free her from her chains.

    The Greylock

  • ‘Why, look ye, brother Nixon,’ said Crackenthorp, turning his quid with great composure, ‘the squire is a very worthy gentleman, and I’ll never deny it; but I am neither his servant nor his tenant, and so he need send me none of his orders till he hears I have put on his livery.

    Redgauntlet

  • Thereupon Geraint was troubled in his mind, and he called his squire; and when he came to him, "Go quickly," said he, "and prepare my horse and my arms, and make them ready.

    The Age of Fable

  • The squire, — Roger Carbury was always called the squire about his own place, — had anticipated no evil when he so timed this second visit of his cousins to his house that they must of necessity meet Paul Montague there.

    The Way We Live Now

  • The squire was a fine healthy-looking old gentleman, with silver hair curling lightly round an open florid countenance; in which the physiognomist, with the advantage, like myself, of a previous hint or two, might discover a singular mixture of whim and benevolence.

    The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon

  • While we were talking we heard the distant tolling of the village bell, and I was told that the squire was a little particular in having his household at church on a Christmas morning; considering it a day of pouring out of thanks and rejoicing; for, as old Tusser observed,

    The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon

Comments

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  • Essentially, the meaning of the words knight and squire flipped.

    November 8, 2007

  • From Wikipedia: "The English word squire comes from the Old French escuier (modern French écuyer), itself derived from the Late Latin scutarius ("shield bearer"). The Classical Latin equivalent was armiger, 'arms bearer.'"

    I think the scutarius part is cool.

    November 8, 2007