sire (n.)

c. 1200, a 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" (from PIE root *sen- "old"). Later sir (q.v.), an alteration of sire, was used for this.

Wulcume sire Arður, wilcume lauerd.
[Laʒamon's "Brut," c. 1200]

Standing alone and meaning "your majesty" it is attested from early 13c. The general sense of "important elderly man" is from mid-14c.; that of "father, male parent, forefather" (as in grandsire) is from mid-13c., paired with dame. From 1520s as "male parent of a quadruped animal," especially a domestic animal, with dam (n.2) for the female parent.

sire (v.)

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

updated on November 19, 2022