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Sir. British & World English

(In biblical references) Sirach (Apocrypha)

sir British & World English

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

Sir in sir British & World English

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

Sirach New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

another name for Ecclesiasticus

Hoy, Sir Chris British & World English

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

Low, Sir David British & World 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

Rice, Sir Tim British & World English

(B.1944), English lyricist and entertainer; full name Timothy Miles Bindon Rice. Together with Andrew Lloyd Webber he co-wrote a number of hit musicals, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), and Evita (1978). He has won three Oscars for best original film song (1992, 1994, and 1996)

Ross, Sir John British & World English

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

Abbott, Sir John British & World English

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

Amis, Sir Kingsley British & World English

(1922–95), English novelist. He achieved popular success with his first novel Lucky Jim (1954); his later novels include The Old Devils (Booker Prize, 1986) and The Folks that Live on the Hill (1990)

Ashdown, Sir Paddy British & World 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

Ayer, Sir A. J. British & World English

(1910–89), English philosopher; full name Alfred Jules Ayer. Involved with the Vienna Circle in the 1930s, he was an important proponent of logical positivism. Notable work: Language, Truth, and Logic (1936)

Bader, Sir Douglas British & World 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

Banks, Sir Joseph British & World English

(1743–1820), English botanist. He accompanied Captain James Cook on his first voyage to the Pacific, and helped to establish the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Barry, Sir Charles British & World English

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

Barton, Sir Edmund British & World English

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

Bates, Sir Alan British & World 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 British & World English

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

Beaton, Sir Cecil British & World English

(1904–80), English photographer famous for his fashion features and portraits of celebrities, particularly the British royal family; full name Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton. He later diversified into costume and set design, winning two Oscars for the film My Fair Lady (1964)

Berlin, Sir Isaiah British & World 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)

Betjeman, Sir John British & World English

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

Bing, Sir Rudolf British & World 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

Blake, Sir Peter British & World English

(B.1932), English painter, prominent in the pop art movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He is best known for the cover design for the Beatles album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Bliss, Sir Arthur British & World English

(1891–1975), English composer; full name Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss. He moved from the influence of Stravinsky, in works such as A Colour Symphony (1922), to a rich style closer to Elgar, as in his choral symphony Morning Heroes (1930)

Bodley, Sir Thomas British & World English

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

Bogarde, Sir Dirk British & World English

(1921–99), British actor and writer, of Dutch descent; born Derek Niven van den Bogaerde. He became famous in the ‘Doctor’ series of comedy films, and played more serious roles in films such as The Servant (1963) and Death in Venice (1971)

Botham, Sir Ian British & World 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 British & World 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

Brabham, Sir Jack British & World English

(1926–2014), Australian motor-racing driver; full name John Arthur Brabham. He won the Formula One world championship three times (1959, 1960, 1966)

Bradman, Sir Don British & World English

(1908–2001), Australian cricketer; full name Sir Donald George Bradman. Bradman holds the record for the highest Australian Test score against England (334 in 1930), and his Test match batting average of 99.94 is well above that of any other cricketer of any era

Bragg, Sir William British & World English

(1862–1942), English physicist, a founder of solid-state physics; full name William Henry Bragg. He collaborated with his son, Sir (William) Lawrence Bragg (1890–1971), in developing the technique of X-ray diffraction for determining the atomic structure of crystals; for this they shared the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics

Browne, Sir Thomas British & World 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 British & World 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

Caine, Sir Michael British & World English

(B.1933), English film actor; born Maurice Micklewhite. He has appeared in a wide variety of films, including The Ipcress File (1965) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986, for which he won an Oscar)

Cayley, Sir George British & World English

(1773–1857), English engineer, the father of British aeronautics. He is best known for his understanding of the principles of flight and for building the first manned glider, which was flown in 1853. He was also a founder of the original Polytechnic Institution

Connery, Sir Sean British & World English

(B.1930), Scottish film actor best known for his portrayal of James Bond; born Thomas Connery

Cooper, Sir Henry British & World English

(1934–2011), English boxer, the only man to win a Lonsdale belt outright three times. He knocked down Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) in 1963, but a bad cut inflicted by the same opponent in 1966 in his only world title fight hastened his retirement in 1971

Coward, Sir Noël British & World English

(1899–1973), English dramatist, actor, and composer; full name Sir Noël Pierce Coward. He is remembered for witty, satirical plays, such as Hay Fever (1925) and Private Lives (1930), as well as revues and musicals featuring songs such as ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ (1932)

Cunard, Sir Samuel British & World English

(1787–1865), Canadian-born British shipowner. One of the pioneers of the regular transatlantic passenger service, he founded the steamship company which still bears his name with the aid of a contract to carry the mail between Britain and Canada. The first such voyage for the company was made in 1840

Davy, Sir Humphry British & World English

(1778–1829), English chemist, a pioneer of electrochemistry. He discovered nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the elements sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, and barium. He also identified and named the element chlorine, determined the properties of iodine, and demonstrated that diamond was a form of carbon. In 1815 he invented the miner’s safety lamp

Dewar, Sir James British & World English

(1842–1923), Scottish chemist and physicist. He is chiefly remembered for his work in cryogenics, in which he devised the vacuum flask, achieved temperatures close to absolute zero, and was the first to produce liquid oxygen and hydrogen in quantity

Dolin, Sir Anton British & World English

(1904–83), English ballet dancer and choreographer; born Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-Kay. He was the first artistic director of the London Festival Ballet (1950–61), as well as first soloist

Doll, Sir Richard British & World English

(1912–2005), English physician; full name William Richard Shaboe Doll. With Sir A. Bradford Hill (1897–1991) he was the first to show a statistical link between smoking and lung cancer

Drake, Sir Francis British & World English

(Circa 1540–96), English sailor and explorer. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe (1577–80), in his ship the Golden Hind. He played an important part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada

Elgar, Sir Edward British & World English

(1857–1934), English composer; full name Sir Edward William Elgar. He is known particularly for the Enigma Variations (1899), the oratorio The Dream of Gerontius (1900), and for patriotic pieces such as the five Pomp and Circumstance marches (1901–30)

Epstein, Sir Jacob British & World English

(1880–1959), American-born British sculptor. A founder member of the Vorticist group, he later had great success in his modelled portraits of the famous, in particular his Einstein (1933)

Evans, Sir Arthur British & World English

(1851–1941), English archaeologist; full name Sir Arthur John Evans. His excavations at Knossos (1899–1935) resulted in the discovery of the Bronze Age civilization of Crete, which he named Minoan after the legendary Cretan king Minos

Ferguson, Sir Alex British & World English

(B.1941), Scottish football manager and footballer; full name Alexander Chapman Ferguson. He managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013, winning the Premier League Championship thirteen times, the European Champions League twice, and the FA Cup five times

Finney, Sir Tom British & World English

(1929–2014), English footballer; full name Thomas Finney. He played for Preston North End as a winger and won 76 caps for England between 1946 and 1958


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