gentry

noun
gen·​try | \ ˈjen-trē How to pronounce gentry (audio) \
plural gentries

Definition of gentry

1a : upper or ruling class : aristocracy
b : a class whose members are entitled to bear a coat of arms though not of noble rank especially : wealthy landowners having such status
2 : people of a specified class or kind : folks no real heroes or heroines among the academic gentry— R. G. Hanvey
3a : the condition or rank of a gentleman
b obsolete : the qualities appropriate to a person of gentle (see gentle entry 1 sense 1a) birth especially : courtesy

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Examples of gentry in a Sentence

poor tenant farmers working for landed gentry the old-line yachting gentry frowns on vulgar displays of wealth

Recent Examples on the Web

At each resting place, the queen was entertained by the local gentry with fêtes, balls, music and feasting. Judith Flanders, WSJ, "‘Behind the Throne’ Review: It Takes a Kingdom," 5 Oct. 2018 The books do for modern, monied Asians what Jane Austen did for the English landed gentry two centuries ago – only without the literary subtlety. The Economist, "Kevin Kwan, the quiet man behind “Crazy Rich Asians”," 9 Aug. 2019 The area’s early gentry made enough money from their land to build grand houses, but Norfolk’s relative isolation, and its featureless, flat landscape, meant the land never became so valuable that those families were tempted to cash in. Simon Usborne, Town & Country, "How Rumors of a Feud Between Kate Middleton and Rose Cholmondeley Captivated a Posh Corner of Britain," 5 Aug. 2019 Like a lot of things with this team, that needs to change post-All-Star break, especially because the schedule serves up more of MLB’s gentry. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox needed Dodgers rematch as a reminder of what they can do," 13 July 2019 Unlike a militiaman or an officer drawn from the gentry, who shared the ethos of the larger society, professionals were a breed apart whose foremost loyalty to the military caste made them a threat to liberty. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold’ and ‘Turncoat’ Review: His Own Worst Enemy," 24 May 2018 The local gentry would marshal the peasants, laborers and tribesmen into polls that would choose each Parliament. Reuel Marc Gerecht And, WSJ, "Don’t Fear Regime Change in Iran," 11 June 2018 And the twins did seem determined to be identified as Southern gentry. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "‘Inseparable’ Finds Pride, Indignity and Irony in the Lives of Siamese Twins Chang and Eng," 4 Apr. 2018 Though there were definite Austro-Hungarian accents (coats of arms, suits of armor, and a kachelofen, a ceramic Austrian stove), Parnham was also very landed gentry British. David Usborne, Town & Country, "The Mysterious Case of the Parnham House Fire," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gentry.' 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 gentry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

History and Etymology for gentry

Middle English gentrie "high birth or rank, properties ideally characteristic of those of high birth, the wellborn collectively," borrowed from Anglo-French genterie "high birth," from gent "of aristocratic birth" + -erie -ery — more at gent entry 1

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Learn More about gentry

Dictionary Entries near gentry

gentrification

gentrified

gentrify

gentry

gents

genty

genuflect

Statistics for gentry

Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gentry

The first known use of gentry was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for gentry

gentry

noun
gen·​try | \ ˈjen-trē How to pronounce gentry (audio) \

Kids Definition of gentry

: people of high social status

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More from Merriam-Webster on gentry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gentry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gentry

Spanish Central: Translation of gentry

Nglish: Translation of gentry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gentry for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gentry

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