sir Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “sir” in the English Dictionary

"sir" in British English

See all translations

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
More examples


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)
More examples
  • 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

See all translations

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

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of sir?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“sir” in British English

“sir” in American English

“sir” in Business English

Word of the Day

be nothing short of

used to emphasize a situation, quality, or type of behaviour

Word of the Day

Coffee culture
Coffee culture
by Colin McIntosh,
November 24, 2015
In a study published recently and widely reported in the media, researchers from Harvard University School of Public Health found that people who drink a moderate amount of coffee per day are less likely to die from a range of diseases. Good news for coffee drinkers, who make up an ever-increasing proportion

Read More 

climatarian adjective
climatarian adjective
November 23, 2015
choosing to eat a diet that has minimal impact on the climate, i.e. one that excludes food transported a long way or meat whose production gives rise to CO2 emissions Climate change is not normally on people’s minds when they choose what to have for lunch, but a new diet is calling for

Read More