sir Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sir” in the English Dictionary

"sir" in British English

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sirnoun [as form of address]

uk   /sɜːr/  us   /sɝː/ (also Sir) formal
B1 used as a ​formal and ​polite way of ​speaking to a man, ​especially one who you are ​providing a ​service to or who is in a ​position of ​authority: Would you like to ​see the ​menu, sir? "Did you ​hear what I said?" "Yes, Sir."
mainly UK sometimes used by ​children to ​address or refer to ​teachers who are men: Can I go to the ​toilet, sir? Indian English used after the ​name of a man, ​especially one who is in a ​position of ​authority, in ​order to be ​polite or show ​respect: John SirDear Sir B2 used to ​begin a ​formalletter to a man whose ​name you do not ​know. "Dear Sirs" is an ​oldfashioned way of ​beginning a ​letter to a ​company.Dear Sir or Madam used to ​begin a ​formalletter when you do not ​know if the ​person you are writing to is a man or a woman

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uk   strong /sɜːr/  us   /sɝː/ weak /r/  //
used as the ​title of a knight (= a man who has been given a ​rank of ​honour by a British ​king or ​queen), with a first ​name or with both first and ​familynames, but never with just the ​familyname: Sir Walter (Scott)

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  • Sir Geoffrey will ​see you now.
  • Sir Harold and ​Lady Wilson ​arrived at eight.
(Definition of sir from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sir" in American English

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sirnoun [C]

 us   /sɜr/
  • sir noun [C] (USED TO ADDRESS)

a ​polite word used to ​address a man: Excuse me, sir, do you ​know what ​time it is? Sir is used at the ​beginning of a ​formalletter to a man you do not ​know: Dear Sir
  • sir noun [C] (USED AS TITLE)

(also Sir)used as a ​title with the first or ​fullname of a man given a ​rank of ​honor by a ​king or ​queen
(Definition of sir from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"Sir" in Business English

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Sirnoun [S]

uk   us   /sɜːr/ formal
a ​formal and polite way of speaking to a man: May I ​help you, Sir?
Dear Sir the usual way of beginning a ​formalletter to a man whose ​name you do not know: Dear Sir, I am writing to ​complain about the ​quality of the ​service I received last week.
Dear Sir or Madam used to begin a ​formalletter when you do not know whether the ​person you are writing to is a man or a woman: Dear Sir or ​Madam, I am writing to ​inform you that I wish to ​cancel my ​creditcard.
Dear Sirs old-fashioned used to begin a ​letter to a ​company when you do not have someone's ​name to write to directly
(Definition of Sir from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“sir” in British English

“sir” in American English

“sir” in Business English

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