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A small desk or bureau with a writing surface, especially one with built-in compartments for storing documents and often a hinged, slanted front that drops down to provide the writing surface.

[Obsolete French, from Old French escriptoire, study, from Medieval Latin scrīptōrium; see scriptorium.]


(ˌɛskrɪˈtwɑː) or


(Furniture) a writing desk with compartments and drawers, concealed by a hinged flap, on a chest of drawers or plain stand
[C18: from French, from Medieval Latin scriptōrium writing room in a monastery, from Latin scrībere to write]

writ′ing desk`

1. a piece of furniture with a surface for writing on, usu. with drawers and compartments for writing materials.
2. a portable case that holds writing materials and that when opened forms a surface on which to write.


A portable writing desk, typically with a hinged top closing over small drawers.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.escritoire - a desk used for writingescritoire - a desk used for writing    
desk - a piece of furniture with a writing surface and usually drawers or other compartments
References in classic literature ?
We heard the turning of a key in a small lock; she has opened a secret drawer of an escritoire, and is probably looking at a certain miniature, done in Malbone's most perfect style, and representing a face worthy of no less delicate a pencil.
There was a chest of drawers with an escritoire top, for Uriah to read or write at of an evening; there was Uriah's blue bag lying down and vomiting papers; there was a company of Uriah's books commanded by Mr.
They had been married but a few months when our visit to them commenced during which time they had been amply supported by a considerable sum of money which Augustus had gracefully purloined from his unworthy father's Escritoire, a few days before his union with Sophia.
The secretary leaned against an escritoire with huge hinges of beaten metal.
If a home is happy it cannot fit too close--let the dresser collapse and become a billiard table; let the mantel turn to a rowing machine, the escritoire to a spare bedchamber, the washstand to an upright piano; let the four walls come together, if they will, so you and your Delia are between.
He took a bunch of keys from his pocket, singled out by the candle- light the key he wanted, and then, with a candle in his hand, went to a bureau or escritoire, unlocked it, touched the spring of a little secret drawer, and took from it an ordinary ring-case made for a single ring.
He closed the empty little drawer with a sigh, and shut and locked the escritoire, and came back to the solitary fireside.
A pretty but late 19th century French kingwood escritoire painted with lovers being serenaded in a landscape setting was estimated at PS800-1,200, but sold for PS5,400.
Poems and compositions Nuanced his asylum years until a bloodied cough unhinged the Escritoire of his chest .
It turned out to be an escritoire missing its hinged lid, which provides a writing surface when pulled down.
1) a faintly Japanese-looking woman, with greying hair and dark eyebrows, fits snugly between her soft brown chair and the tall brown escritoire, whose drop-leaf panel nearly cuts her in half.
At Castle Howard and at most mansions worth their title there's a patient, intelligent and friendly creature standing quietly by the escritoire or four-poster.