es·quire (ĕskwīr′, ĭ-skwīr)
1. A man or boy who is a member of the gentry in England ranking directly below a knight.
2. Abbr. Esq. Used as an honorific usually in its abbreviated form, especially after the name of an attorney or a consular officer: Jane Doe, Esq.; John Doe, Esq.
3. Chiefly British A barrister-at-law.
4. In medieval times, a candidate for knighthood who served a knight as an attendant and a shield bearer.
5. Archaic An English country gentleman; a squire.
[Middle English esquier, from Old French escuier, from Late Latin scūtārius, shield bearer, from Latin scūtum, shield; see skei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.