gentleman

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

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

Jasay, who died Jan. 23 at 95, was a gentleman scholar. Alberto Mingardi, WSJ, "What Feeds Big Government Isn’t Only Ideology," 4 Feb. 2019 Then, a white-bearded, elderly gentleman appears and encourages the two to hang out, forcing our sweet baker to recognize her feelings for both men. Lourdes Avila Uribe, Glamour, "What You Can Expect to See in Every Single Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie," 24 Dec. 2018 Early in our sitdown, two older gentlemen walked by Jarrett and tapped the defensive tackle on the shoulder. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "In his Fourth Season with the Falcons, Grady Jarrett Insists It’s Only the Beginning," 26 June 2018 Roberts is the tall, bearded gentleman at the far right who was literally beaming from ear to ear in support of his history-making girlfriend. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Boyfriend Riley Roberts?," 15 Jan. 2019 Dexter, 8, is a well-mannered, easygoing gentleman. idahostatesman, "Meridian Pet of the Week: Dexter | Idaho Statesman," 7 May 2018 And another gentleman, Edward Fanning, who is in constant pain. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 8," 24 Dec. 2018 Photo: Nancy McMahon God rest ye merry gentlemen, those trapped in lengthy beards. Thomas Vinciguerra, WSJ, "The Perils of Christmas Beard Decorations: ‘The Lights Got Tangled Up in My Shirt’," 21 Dec. 2018 Shelton was a perfect gentlemen, offering his hand to Stefani to help her on stage. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Gushes Over Girlfriend Gwen Stefani at the People's Choice Awards," 13 Nov. 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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Statistics for gentleman

Last Updated

14 Feb 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 \
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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a servile follower or underling

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