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[jen-tl-woo m-uh n] /ˈdʒɛn tlˌwʊm ən/
noun, plural gentlewomen.
a woman of good family, breeding, or social position.
a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered woman; lady.
a woman who attends upon a lady of rank.
a female member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives:
The chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Maine.
Origin of gentlewoman
Middle English word dating back to 1200-50; See origin at gentle, woman
Related forms
gentlewomanly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gentlewoman
Historical Examples
  • It seems 'tis not so asy any way, now-a-days, to make a gentlewoman, Mrs. Rooney.

  • Yet it is not well for a woman and a gentlewoman to dwell alone.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • But the gentlewoman's heart was a great deal better than her head.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • That a Spanish gentlewoman should have shown herself so bold!

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • "She is a gentlewoman by birth, sir," said the old lady, tetchily.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • How shall a gentleman go about a sorry figure, more than a gentlewoman?

    Clare Avery Emily Sarah Holt
  • It was the home of a gentlewoman who could make a little better than "the best of things."

  • She received us with the courtesy and easy manners of a gentlewoman.

  • But there was that about her which proclaimed her unmistakably the gentlewoman, and this was good to know.

    Under the Country Sky Grace S. Richmond
  • It may be said of her that she was at all points a gentlewoman.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for gentlewoman


noun (pl) -women
(archaic) a woman regarded as being of good family or breeding; lady
(rare) a woman who is cultured, courteous, and well-educated
(history) a woman in personal attendance on a high-ranking lady
Derived Forms
gentlewomanly, adjective
gentlewomanliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gentlewoman

early 13c., from gentle + woman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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