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


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

This little Indian, ladies and gentlemen, is Yellow Bear, chief of the Kiowas. James Parker, The Atlantic, "The Spectacular P. T. Barnum," 19 July 2019 But for a lot of community members, there were a lot of gentlemen who dated a series of trans women. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, "Philadelphia suicide throws 'transamory' into the spotlight," 23 Aug. 2019 Chef Norman Van Aken was expediting orders, hands flying fast, when a gentleman strolled into the madness of the kitchen and introduced himself. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Norman’s Orlando’s 16-year Ritz-Carlton run ends Aug. 31 – but there’s a 2.0 on the horizon," 4 Aug. 2019 Ladies and gentlemen, the words a president utters matter. Los Angeles Times, "Trump told to ‘stop the hatred’ as Latinos gather in San Diego," 5 Aug. 2019 This one, another murderer, ladies and gentlemen, another murderer. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Fact check: Trump’s false claims at Cincinnati rally," 2 Aug. 2019 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the host of the Laugh Track column, a man who is aging in real time … Mike McIntyre. Michael K. Mcintyre,, "The ‘Improvaneers,’ world’s first all Down Syndrom improv troupe, debuts in Akron," 24 July 2019 But ladies and gentlemen, that’s not an insinuation. Justin Barrasso,, "The Week in Wrestling: WWE Still a Big Part of John Cena’s Future Plans," 12 June 2019 Ladies and gentlemen, KD has left the building, and, no doubt, the 2019 NBA Finals. Scott Ostler,, "Ecstasy and agony for the Warriors and Kevin Durant," 10 June 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

12 Sep 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



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


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

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


concealment of treason or felony

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