plural noun

gen·​tle·​folk ˈjen-tᵊl-ˌfōk How to pronounce gentlefolk (audio)
variants or less commonly gentlefolks
: persons of gentle or good family and breeding

Examples of gentlefolk in a Sentence

an 18th-century painter whose works are typically of well-dressed gentlefolk wooing and frolicking in sylvan settings
Recent Examples on the Web Franken even delivered a handwritten note because that’s what gentlefolk of the Senate do. Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2021 For the most part, however, the contract is implicit, because the gentlefolk of Singapore know to mind their own business, while the authorities settle an intoxicating bliss on the clean, green city-state. The Economist, 17 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gentlefolk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1556, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gentlefolk was circa 1556

Dictionary Entries Near gentlefolk

Cite this Entry

“Gentlefolk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural noun
gen·​tle·​folk ˈjent-ᵊl-ˌfōk How to pronounce gentlefolk (audio)
variants also gentlefolks
: persons belonging to a family of high social rank
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!