- a man of good family, breeding, or social position.
- (used as a polite term) a man: Do you know that gentleman over there?
- gentlemen, (used as a form of address): Gentlemen, please come this way.
- a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered man: He behaved like a true gentleman.
- a male personal servant, especially of a man of social position; valet.
- a male attendant upon a king, queen, or other royal person, who is himself of high birth or rank.
- a man of good social standing, as a noble or an armigerous commoner.
- a man with an independent income who does not work for a living.
- a male member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives: The chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts.
- History/Historical. a man who is above the rank of yeoman.
Origin of gentleman
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gentlemen
These gentlemen, said Clausewitz in brief, had the misfortune of mistaking the accoutrements of war for its essential nature.How Clausewitz Invented Modern War
James A. Warren
November 24, 2014
At the same time, I knew that they were these gentlemen whom I had just recently met.Joseph Campbell on the Roots of Halloween
October 31, 2014
Waving a silk cloth, he declared, “Gentlemen, I will have this land just as surely as I now have this handkerchief.”Washington’s Wheeler-Dealer Patriotism
October 31, 2014
“This is what you call perseverance, ladies and gentlemen,” Greenfield said.How Brooklyn’s First Ice Cream Girl Fought City Hall–and Won
October 13, 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, the Don Draper we know and love is back.Mad Men’s ‘The Runaways’: Three-Way Sex and Self-Mutilation in the Craziest Episode Yet
May 12, 2014
The three gentlemen parted most cordially from him after he had paid the check.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
On the contrary, gentlemen, I thought they were all looking at me.Explorations in Australia
The gentlemen were smoking, and some of the ladies were trying to look at ease with cigarettes.
We will wait till the gentlemen finish their cigars, before driving.
But if this goes on, it is the gentlemen who ought to withdraw.
- a man regarded as having qualities of refinement associated with a good family
- a man who is cultured, courteous, and well-educated
- a polite name for a man
- the personal servant of a gentleman (esp in the phrase gentleman's gentleman)
- British history a man of gentle birth, who was entitled to bear arms, ranking above a yeoman in social position
- (formerly) a smuggler
Word Origin and History for gentlemen
The Gentleman is always truthful and sincere; will not agree for the sake of complaisance or out of weakness ; will not pass over that of which he disapproves. He has a clear soul, and a fearless, straightforward tongue. On the other hand he is not blunt and rude. His truth is courteous; his courtesy, truthful; never a humbug, yet, where he truthfully can, he prefers to say pleasant things. [J.R. Vernon, "Contemporary Review," 1869]
Related: Gentlemen. Gentleman's agreement is first attested 1929. Gentleman farmer recorded from 1749.