Denotation vs. Connotation


[sahyuh r] /saɪər/
the male parent of a quadruped.
a respectful term of address, now used only to a male sovereign.
  1. a father or forefather.
  2. a person of importance or in a position of authority, as a lord.
verb (used with object), sired, siring.
to beget; procreate as the father.
Origin of sire
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French (nominative singular) < Vulgar Latin *seior, for Latin senior senior (compare French monsieur orig., my lord, with sieur < *seiōr-, oblique stem of *seior)
Related forms
sireless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sire
Historical Examples
  • Your sire rules the millions who have donned fear's stole forever.

    Under the Witches' Moon Nathan Gallizier
  • They are a free company, sire, and they are called the White Company.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "At least, sire, suffer my guards to attend you," urged De Vitry.

  • "We are your subjects, sire," said the Gascon barons, though with no very good grace.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “He is within, sire,” Tavannes answered, indicating the closet.

    Count Hannibal Stanley J. Weyman
  • You won't get the dates exact and the name and number of each dam and sire.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • But Ganelon answered, “sire, had any but you so spoken, I had said that he spoke falsely.”

  • He was my father, sire, and I saw him slain—aye, and slew the slayer.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • But surely that will prejudicially affect the rumor you were going to spread, sire?

    Ten Years Later Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • You have, sire, as I have heard, many friends at Bristol and in the Midlands.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for sire


a male parent, esp of a horse or other domestic animal
a respectful term of address, now used only in addressing a male monarch
(obsolete) a man of high rank
(transitive) (esp of a domestic animal) to father; beget
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin senior an elder, from senex an old man
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 sire

c.1200, title placed before a name and denoting knighthood, from Old French sire "lord (appellation), sire, my lord," from Vulgar Latin *seior, from Latin senior "older, elder" (see senior (adj.)). Standing alone and meaning "your majesty" it is attested from early 13c. General sense of "important elderly man" is from mid-14c.; that of "father, male parent" is from mid-13c.


"to beget, to be the sire of," 1610s, from sire (n.). Used chiefly of beasts, especially of stallions. Related: Sired; siring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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