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

There was a gentleman who lived near him who was suffering and was going through chemo. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Chapter One: A Quiet Man," 15 July 2019 There was a gentleman by the name of Julian that had founded the Black Veg. Washington Post, "Black Vegetarian Society of Maryland keeps it green," 29 June 2019 There was a gentleman by the name of Julian that had founded the Black Veg. Oyin Adedoyin, baltimoresun.com, "Black Vegetarian Society of Maryland keeps it green and delicious," 24 June 2019 Don was a gentleman of strong Catholic faith and a communicant of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Newington. courant.com, "Donald Maurice Doherty," 18 June 2019 Despite the gloomy and rainy conditions, Prince William was a gentleman and held an umbrella for him and the duchess. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Just a Bunch of Photos of Kate Middleton and Prince William Being Cute at the Royal Ascot," 18 June 2019 Mukesh was thorough gentleman with calm and quiet nature. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, "Father and Daughter Die in Car Crash on the Way to the Beach to Celebrate Her Third Birthday," 12 June 2019 Ladies and gentlemen, meet the northern Pinocchio frog. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "New Pinocchio frog species has a strange, pointy nose," 7 June 2019 The Armoury This gentleman's haberdasher, inside the historic Peddler Building, looks like a private club on Savile Row. Janice Leung Hayes, Condé Nast Traveler, "22 Best Shops in Hong Kong," 4 Mar. 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

18 Jul 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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