Denotation vs. Connotation


[sur] /sɜr/
a respectful or formal term of address used to a man:
No, sir.
(initial capital letter) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet:
Sir Walter Scott.
(initial capital letter) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times:
Sir Pandarus of Troy.
a lord or gentleman:
noble sirs and ladies.
an ironic or humorous title of respect:
sir critic.
Archaic. a title of respect used before a noun to designate profession, rank, etc.:
sir priest; sir clerk.
Origin of sir
1250-1300; Middle English; unstressed variant of sire Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sir
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Take my rede, sir, and let it drop, for you have come very well out from it.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • When they met Fish in the road they stepped aside and said "Good morning, sir."

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • sir, are you satisfied with these consequences of the agitation you have gotten up?

    Slavery Ordained of God Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
  • "Good-morning, sir," said Robert, removing his hat on entering.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Sometimes he does, sir, and sometimes he gives it to me for the children.

British Dictionary definitions for sir


a formal or polite term of address for a man
(archaic) a gentleman of high social status
Word Origin
C13: variant of sire


a title of honour placed before the name of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Raleigh
(archaic) a title placed before the name of a figure from ancient history
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sir

c.1300, title of honor of a knight or baronet (until 17c. also a title of priests), variant of sire, originally used only in unstressed position. Generalized as a respectful form of address by mid-14c.; used as a salutation at the beginning of letters from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sir in Technology

1. An early system on the IBM 650.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16, May 1959].
2. Serial Infrared. An infrared standard from IrDA, part of IrDA Data. SIR supports asynchronous communications at 9600 bps - 115.2 Kbps, at a distance of up to 1 metre.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for sir


shuttle imaging radar
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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