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sir US English

Used as a polite or respectful way of addressing a man, especially one in a position of authority

Sir. US English

(In biblical references) Sirach (Apocrypha)

Sir in sir US English

Used as a polite or respectful way of addressing a man, especially one in a position of authority

Rice, Sir Tim US English

(1944-), English lyricist and entertainer; full name Timothy Miles Bindon Rice. With Andrew Lloyd Webber, he cowrote a number of musicals, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), and Evita (1978)

Ross, Sir John US English

(1777–1856), British explorer. He led an expedition to Baffin Bay in 1818 and another in search of the Northwest Passage between 1829 and 1833

Hoy, Sir Chris US English

(1976-), Scottish cyclist; full name Christopher Andrew Hoy. A multiple world champion in track cycling, he won his sixth Olympic gold medal in 2012. He shares with Bradley Wiggins the record for the highest total number of Olympic medals won by a British athlete (seven)

Low, Sir David US English

(1891–1963), New-Zealand-born British cartoonist famous for his political cartoons and for inventing the character Colonel Blimp; full name Sir David Alexander Cecil Low

Abbott, Sir John US English

(1821–93), Canadian Conservative statesman; full name John Joseph Caldwell Abbott. He was prime minister 1891–92

Amis, Sir Kingsley US English

(1922–95), English novelist and poet, who achieved popular success with his first novel, Lucky Jim (1954). Other notable works: The Old Devils (1986), The Folks that Live on the Hill (1990), and You Ca n’t Do Both (1994)

Barry, Sir Charles US English

(1795–1860), English architect, designer of the Houses of Parliament

Barton, Sir Edmund US English

(1849–1920), Australian statesman and jurist, first Prime Minister of Australia 1901-3

Banks, Sir Joseph US English

(1743–1820), English botanist. He accompanied Captain James Cook on his first voyage to the Pacific

Ashdown, Sir Paddy US English

(B.1941), British Liberal Democrat politician, born in India; full name Jeremy John Durham Ashdown. He was the first leader of the Liberal Democrats 1988–99

Bates, Sir Alan US English

1934–2003, English actor. Notable films: The Caretaker (1964), Zorba the Greek (1964), The Fixer (1968), Women in Love (1969), and An Unmarried Woman (1978). He also played a number of roles on stage and won a Tony Award for his performance in Turgenev’s Fortune’s Fool (2002)

Bax, Sir Arnold US English

(1883–1953), English composer, noted for tone poems such as Tintagel (1917); full name Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax

Bader, Sir Douglas US English

(1910–82), British airman; full name Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader. Despite having lost both legs in a flying accident in 1931, he saw action as a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain (1940-1). After the war he was noted for his work on behalf of disabled people

Ayer, Sir A. J. US English

(1910–89), English philosopher; full name Alfred Jules Ayer. He was an important proponent of logical positivism. Notable works: Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) and The Problem of Knowledge (1956)

Berlin, Sir Isaiah US English

(1909–97), Latvian-born British philosopher who concerned himself with the history of ideas. Notable works: Karl Marx (1939), Four Essays on Liberty (1959), and Vico and Herder (1976)

Bing, Sir Rudolf US English

(1902–97), British opera conductor and manager; born in Austria. He was conductor and director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City 1950–72. In 1955, he hired Marian Anderson, ending the Met’s unwritten ban against African Americans. He was knighted in 1971

Beerbohm, Sir Max US English

(1872–1956), English caricaturist, essayist, and critic; full name Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm

Beaton, Sir Cecil US English

(1904–80), English photographer; full name Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton. He is noted for his fashion features and portraits of celebrities

Bodley, Sir Thomas US English

(1545–1613), English scholar and diplomat. He enlarged the Oxford University library, which was renamed the Bodleian in 1602

Bogarde, Sir Dirk US English

(1921–99), British actor and writer; born Derek Niven van den Bogaerde. Notable movies: The Servant (1963), Death in Venice (1971), and A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Blake, Sir Peter US English

(1932-), English painter. He was prominent in the pop art movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s

Bliss, Sir Arthur US English

(1891–1975), English composer; full name Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss

Betjeman, Sir John US English

(1906–84), English poet, noted for his self-deprecating, witty, and gently satirical poems. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1972

Browne, Sir Thomas US English

(1605–82), English author and physician. He achieved prominence with Religio Medici (1642), a collection of opinions on a vast number of subjects connected with religion

Busby, Sir Matt US English

(1909–94), Scottish-born footballer and football manager. As manager of Manchester United 1945–69 he led them to win five League Championships and the European Cup in 1968

Brabham, Sir Jack US English

(B.1926), Australian motor-racing driver; full name John Arthur Brabham. He won the Formula One world championship three times (1959, 1960, 1966)

Botham, Sir Ian US English

(B.1955), English all-round cricketer; full name Sir Ian Terence Botham. In 1978 he became the first player to score 100 runs and take eight wickets in a single Test match; in 1982 he also achieved the record of 3,000 runs and 250 wickets in Test matches overall

Boult, Sir Adrian US English

(1889–1983), English conductor; full name Sir Adrian Cedric Boult. Noted especially for his championship of English composers, he was music director of the BBC 1930–49 and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1950-7

Caine, Sir Michael US English

(1933-), English actor; born Maurice Micklewhite. Notable movies: The Ipcress File (1965), Educating Rita (1983), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and The Cider House Rules (1999)

Pitman, Sir Isaac US English

(1813–97), English inventor of a formerly widely used shorthand system

Parry, Sir Hubert US English

(1848–1918), English composer; full name Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. Parry’s best-known work is his setting of William Blake’s poem ‘Jerusalem’ (1916), which has acquired the status of a national song

Paxton, Sir Joseph US English

(1801–65), English gardener and architect. He designed the Crystal Palace in London in 1851

Percy, Sir Henry US English

(1364–1403), English soldier; known as Hotspur or Harry Hotspur. Son of the 1st Earl of Northumberland, he was killed at the battle of Shrewsbury

Pears, Sir Peter US English

(1910–86), English operatic tenor. In his lifelong partnership with Benjamin Britten he performed the title roles in all Britten’s operas and with Britten co-founded the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948

Peel, Sir Robert US English

(1788–1850), British statesman, prime minister 1834–35 and 1841–46. As home secretary 1828–30, he established the Metropolitan Police, whose members are called “bobbies” in his honor. His repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 split the Conservatives and forced his resignation

Owen, Sir Richard US English

(1804–92), English anatomist and palaeontologist. Owen made important contributions to evolution, taxonomy, and palaeontology and coined the word dinosaur in 1841. He was a strong opponent of Darwinism

Puttnam, Sir David US English

(1941-), English movie director; full name Sir David Terence Puttnam. Notable movies: Chariots of Fire (1981), The Killing Fields (1984), and The Mission (1986)

Rattle, Sir Simon US English

(B.1955), English conductor; full name Sir Simon Denis Rattle. Principal conductor with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 1980–91, he became chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000 and its artistic director in 2002

Raeburn, Sir Henry US English

(1756–1823), Scottish portrait painter. The leading Scottish portraitist of his day, he depicted the local intelligentsia and Highland chieftains in a bold and distinctive style

Raman, Sir C. V. US English

(1888–1970), Indian physicist; full name Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. He discovered the Raman effect, one of the most important proofs of the quantum theory of light. Nobel Prize for Physics (1930)

Ramsey, Sir Alf US English

(1920–99), English footballer and manager; full name Alfred Ernest Ramsey. He played as a defender for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and England, and managed England from 1963 to 1974, winning the World Cup in 1966

Reed, Sir Carol US English

(1906–76), English film director. His films include Odd Man Out (1947), The Third Man (1949), and the musical Oliver! (1968), for which he won an Oscar

Richard, Sir Cliff US English

(B.1940), British pop singer, born in India; born Harry Roger Webb. With his group the Drifters (later called the Shadows), he recorded such songs as ‘Living Doll’ (1959). Since the 1970s he has combined a successful solo pop career with evangelism

Robey, Sir George US English

(1869–1954), English comedian and actor; born George Edward Wade. He performed in music halls and films

Ross, Sir Ronald US English

(1857–1932), British physician. He confirmed that the Anopheles mosquito transmitted malaria and then elucidated the stages in the malarial parasite’s life cycle. Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1902)

Royce, Sir Henry US English

(1863–1933), English engine designer; full name Sir Frederick Henry Royce. He founded Rolls-Royce Ltd. with Charles Stewart Rolls in 1906

Ryle, Sir Martin US English

(1918–84), English astronomer. His demonstration that remote objects appeared to be different from closer ones helped to establish the Big Bang theory of the universe. Nobel Prize for Physics (1974), shared with Antony Hewish (1924-)

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