• synonyms


[jen-tl-woo m-uh n]
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noun, plural gen·tle·wom·en.
  1. a woman of good family, breeding, or social position
  2. a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered woman; lady.
  3. a woman who attends upon a lady of rank.
  4. a female member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives: The chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Maine.
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Origin of gentlewoman

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at gentle, woman
Related formsgen·tle·wom·an·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gentlewoman

aristocrat, girl, wife, daughter, mother, she, queen, adult, female, count, patrician, gentleman, royalty, peer, lord, emperor, lady, prince, empress, duke

Examples from the Web for gentlewoman

Historical Examples of gentlewoman

  • It seems 'tis not so asy any way, now-a-days, to make a gentlewoman, Mrs. Rooney.

    Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)

    Maria Edgeworth

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for gentlewoman


noun plural -women
  1. archaic a woman regarded as being of good family or breeding; lady
  2. rare a woman who is cultured, courteous, and well-educated
  3. history a woman in personal attendance on a high-ranking lady
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Derived Formsgentlewomanly, adjectivegentlewomanliness, 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

Word Origin and History for gentlewoman


early 13c., from gentle + woman.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper