gentleman

noun, often attributive gen·tle·man \ ˈjen-tᵊl-mən , ˈje-nᵊl- , in rapid speech also ˈjen-tə-mən , ˈje-nə- \

Definition of gentleman

1 a :a man of noble or gentle (see 1gentle 1a) birth
b :a man belonging to the landed gentry
c (1) :a man who combines gentle (see 1gentle 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 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

gentlemanlike

play \ˈjen-tᵊl-mən-ˌlīk, ˈje-nᵊl-\ adjective

gentlemanlikeness

noun

Examples of gentleman in a Sentence

  1. A true gentleman would never engage in such behavior.

  2. He's a gentleman by birth.

Recent Examples of gentleman from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of gentleman

Middle English gentilman

Other Forms of Address Terms



GENTLEMAN Defined for English Language Learners

gentleman

noun

Definition of gentleman for English Language Learners

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

  • : a man of high social status


GENTLEMAN Defined for Kids

gentleman

noun gen·tle·man \ ˈjen-tᵊl-mən \

Definition of gentleman for Students

plural gentlemen \-mən\
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.

gentlemanly

adjective


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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