noun, often attributive
gen·tle·man | \ ˈjen-tᵊl-mən , 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, ˈje-nᵊl- \ adjective
gentlemanlikeness noun

Synonyms for gentleman


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

Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling….ROUND TWO. Kathryn Lindsay,, "R29 Binge Club: Glow Season 2, Episodes 1-10," 29 June 2018 An elderly gentleman and his grandson ask for a photo. Alex Prewitt,, "How the Roster Decisions of Golden Knights GM George McPhee Color the Stanley Cup Final," 28 May 2018 In fact, the man’s apparent physical fragility made his performance that much more moving, an elderly gentleman refusing to surrender the stage, and his honored place on it, even at this late date. Howard Reich,, "Freddy Cole brings back the old magic at Jazz Showcase," 11 May 2018 And for those who prefer prose — or are ridiculously excited for Solo — Daniel José Older's new novel Last Shot catches up with Han and Lando as older gentlemen. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Happy Star Wars Day! Here are 6 ways to celebrate #MayThe4th and get ready for 'Solo'," 3 May 2018 These gentlemen are ready to fill orders for any number of brick and invite those who contemplate building to give them a call. Arthur Hart, idahostatesman, "When fires hit the area in late 19th century, brick’s foundation took hold in Boise," 16 June 2018 LIZ Ladies and gentlemen, a new low: scrolling away at a memorial service! Philip Galanes, New York Times, "Culture Shock at the Dinner Table," 3 May 2018 Conduct yourself all the time in accordance to being a well-mannered gentleman. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "For ASU's Herm Edwards, sports bubble helped to overcome racism growing up," 12 July 2018 Oc was a true gentleman: Funny — sometimes bitingly so, but gentle, calm, and totally dedicated to his craft. Paul Montella, The Seattle Times, "AP college basketball writer Jim O’Connell dead at age 64," 2 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to gentleman

a lady/man/gentleman of leisure

Statistics for gentleman

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gentleman

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

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English Language Learners Definition of gentleman

: a man who treats other people in a proper and polite way

: a man of high social status


gen·tle·man | \ ˈjen-tᵊl-mən \
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

What made you want to look up gentleman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an open space surrounded by woods

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