gentleman

noun, often attributive
gen·​tle·​man | \ ˈjen-tᵊl-mən How to pronounce gentleman (audio) , ˈje-nᵊl-, in rapid speech also ˈjen-tə-mən, ˈje-nə-\

Definition of gentleman

1a : a man of noble or gentle (see gentle entry 1 sense 1a) birth
b : a man belonging to the landed gentry
c(1) : a man who combines gentle (see gentle entry 1 sense 1a) birth or rank with chivalrous qualities
(2) : a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior
d(1) : a man of independent means who does not engage in any occupation or profession for gain
(2) : a man who does not engage in a menial occupation or in manual labor for gain
2 : valet sense 1b often used in the phrase gentleman's gentleman
3 : a man of any social class or condition often used in a courteous reference show this gentleman to a seat or usually in the plural in address ladies and gentlemen

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Other Words from gentleman

gentlemanlike \ ˈjen-​tᵊl-​mən-​ˌlīk How to pronounce gentlemanlike (audio) , ˈje-​nᵊl-​ \ adjective
gentlemanlikeness noun

Synonyms for gentleman

Synonyms

grandee, lord, milord, nobleman, peer

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Examples of gentleman in a Sentence

A true gentleman would never engage in such behavior. He's a gentleman by birth.

Recent Examples on the Web

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Kaling made your imaginations come alive. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Mindy Kaling Went Cotton Candy Blonde for the Met Gala and I'm Not Okay," 6 May 2019 But first, ladies and gentleman, the posher Times Square Edition—from the man who brought you Studio 54. Christian L. Wright, WSJ, "Is This New Hotel a Game Changer for Times Square?," 18 Apr. 2019 At a very recent meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, this gentleman read a paper giving a history of the case, and presented the veritable skull which sustained the injury. Daniel C. Schlenoff, Scientific American, "“Foul Treachery” of Trotsky and Lenin in 1918; Phineas Gage’s Brain in 1868," 13 July 2018 The people in his orbit—especially the women—were left holding the bag, which is really some way for a southern gentleman to behave. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Jerry Richardson's Hubris Remains Immortalized in His Statue," 10 July 2018 Who is an extraordinary human being, gracious, a consummate professional, a gentleman, a kind soul? Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Alex Trebek's Cancer Diagnosis Sparks Outpour of Support From Pat Sajak, Cher, and More," 7 Mar. 2019 This, ladies and gentlemen, is how to flawlessly transform your hairstyle to look drastically different within a few hours. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Lana Condor Wears Bangs So Well," 11 Feb. 2019 Watch a clip of his speech here, then read the full transcript below: Thank you Chrissie, and good evening ladies and gentlemen. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Just Paid Tribute to Prince Charles and His Work in the Fight Against Climate Change," 26 Oct. 2018 But even in swinging London there are bastions of resistance, like the closed drawing rooms of the traditional gentlemen’s clubs, for those who enjoy reading the Daily Telegraph while taking their morning tea. Janine Di Giovanni, Town & Country, "Is Brexit Ruining London Dinner Parties?," 25 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gentleman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gentleman

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gentleman

Middle English gentilman

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Statistics for gentleman

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gentleman

The first known use of gentleman was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for gentleman

gentleman

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gentleman

: a man who treats other people in a proper and polite way
old-fashioned : a man of high social status

gentleman

noun
gen·​tle·​man | \ ˈjen-tᵊl-mən How to pronounce gentleman (audio) \
plural gentlemen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of gentleman

1 : a man with very good manners
2 : a man of any social position
Hint: This word is used especially in polite speech or when speaking to a group of men. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
3 : a man of high social status He's a gentleman by birth.

Other Words from gentleman

gentlemanly adjective

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Comments on gentleman

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