sir Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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."
Compare
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 Sir
Dear 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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

Idioms

Sirnoun

uk   strong /sɜːr/ weak /r/  us   /sɝː/  //
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)

expend iconexpend iconMore 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
Compare
(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

There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

cracker

a thin, flat, hard biscuit, especially one eaten with cheese

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More