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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A portable writing desk, typically with a hinged top closing over small drawers.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The secretary leaned against an escritoire with huge hinges of beaten metal.
"For the production of cabinets, chairs, tables, ornamental caskets, ceiling of rooms and ashtray, jewellery boxes, photo-frames, escritoire, sideboards, beds, chests, screens, coffee tables, television trolley, carved panels and various other articles wood is used" (Walnut Wood Carving).
So Augustus steals ("gracefully purloins" in Laura's terms) money from "his Unworthy father's Escritoire, a few days before his union with Sophia." She steals money from her cousin Macdonald, "so Vile a Wretch," on a number of occasions.
Or rather, it is not even this man, but A, one of the authors of the papers that Victor Eremita claims to have discovered inside an old escritoire.
Picasso's Guernica artwork "This is tattooed on to antique escritoire using pyrography.
Where papa's escritoire used to be beside the window facing two acacia trees was now the reception desk.