[ jen-tl-woom-uhn ]
See synonyms for gentlewoman on
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.

  1. a woman who attends upon a lady of rank.

  2. 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

Other words from gentlewoman

  • gen·tle·wom·an·ly, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gentlewoman in a sentence

  • As guileless, though as self-reliant, gentlewomen as sequestered England could produce.

  • The feast of St. Michael's has drawn out the Portuguese gentlewomen, of whom we had not yet seen one walking in the streets.

  • Here came two young gentlewomen to see Mr. Holland, and one of them could play pretty well upon the viallin, but, good God!

  • The four front seats of this gallery were "put in order and matted fitt for ye gentlewomen to sit in."

  • The three sisters took care of themselves and their house with the elegant ease and lack of fluster of gentlewomen born and bred.

    The Yates Pride | Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

British Dictionary definitions for gentlewoman


/ (ˈdʒɛntəlˌwʊmən) /

nounplural -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

  1. history a woman in personal attendance on a high-ranking lady

Derived forms of gentlewoman

  • 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