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 4a) birth
b : a man belonging to the landed gentry
c(1) : a man who combines gentle (see gentle entry 1 sense 4a) 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 referenceshow this gentleman to a seat or usually in the plural in addressladies 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


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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 The Rockets have won five of their last six games against the Jazz, which includes a 4-1, gentleman’s sweep, in their Western Conference first-round series against Utah last postseason. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets odds, picks and best bets," 9 Feb. 2020 Later, the game was included as one of the four arts Chinese scholar-gentlemen were required to master. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Best Board Games of the Ancient World," 6 Feb. 2020 The moment was made even more impactful when Buttigieg brought his husband, Chasten, to his side on the stage and introduced him as the future first gentleman. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Buttigieg declares victory in Iowa amid delay of Democratic caucus results," 4 Feb. 2020 This handsome, 6-year-old, large (100 pounds), distinguished gentleman joined Friends for Life when his owner suddenly passed away. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Misty and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 10 Jan. 2020 Prior to Rocketman, Taron Egerton was best known for leading the Kingsman franchise as Eggsy Unwin, a working-class youth who becomes a princess-dating gentleman spy. Ariana Romero,, "Your Complete Guide To Golden Globe Winner & Rocketman Star Taron Egerton," 5 Jan. 2020 Investigators in Kansas were informed that a 23 year-old woman missing from Coweta, Oklahoma, since Dec. 6 was in the area, working at a local gentlemen’s club. Chris Harris,, "Oklahoma Man Allegedly Kidnapped Woman, Beat Her and Forced Her to Dance at Strip Club: Police," 30 Dec. 2019 He will be remembered for being a positive thinker, a patient listener and a true gentleman., "Deaths in Central Florida: 12/6," 6 Dec. 2019 Perhaps the real star of the film wasn’t a gentleman at all. Elizabeth Montgomery, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Gentlemen’ is a lackluster gangster film," 23 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for gentleman

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gentleman

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gentleman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce gentleman (audio)

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

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