Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, 16th century
A small writing desk with drawers and compartments.
Examples of Escritoire in a sentence
"My grandmother writes her Christmas cards and letters at her escritoire."
"The age of the escritoire is long passed, since nowadays people do most of their writing on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets."
Popularity Over Time
“Escritoire” is based on the same word in French, itself a combination of the French words “écrire” (meaning “to write”) and the suffix “-oire,” describing an object.
Did you Know?
When desk jobs used to require more pen-and-paper work, an escritoire was a popular piece of office furniture. Handwriting with ink and quill is a more complex process than writing with ballpoint pens, so these writing desks have many compartments to hold the paraphernalia of the work: nibs, quills, ink bottles, writing paper, blotting paper, and sand. These compartments became part of the furniture’s selling point, with woodworkers producing ornate and heavily embellished escritoires with multiple drawers and compartments. In some instances, “escritoire” is also used to describe the desk called a “secretary,” which consists of a traditional escritoire topped with a glass-fronted bookcase.