Definition of gentleman in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjen(t)lmən/

noun (plural gentlemen)

1A chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man: he behaved like a perfect gentleman
More example sentences
  • He was always the perfect gentleman, courteous and kind in his dealings with others.
  • ‘He was an honourable man and a gentleman and brightened every room with his presence,’ his older brother Keenan last night said.
  • I'd like to point out that I was the perfect gentlemen throughout, and my question was as a result of the picture next to the chatbox - I was wondering how intelligent she was.
1.1A man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure.
Example sentences
  • At social gatherings eligible gentlemen would draw lots bearing ladies' names on the eve of St Valentine's Day.
  • It seems as if everyone is so concerned with reputation and wealth and well-founded gentlemen.
  • Perhaps it was then that within the Royal Navy an officer's entry status was that of an officer by education and a gentleman by social background and manners.
1.2(In the UK) a man of noble birth attached to a royal household.
Example sentences
  • He is an officer and a gentleman by royal decree.
  • The second man was in the North, a gentleman by birth.
  • Tall, well built, handsome, intelligent, graceful, he was everything a gentleman and noble should be.
informal gent
archaic cavalier
2A polite or formal way of referring to a man: opposite her an old gentleman sat reading
More example sentences
  • On this woman's right, on the other side of the table from Stanson, two older English-looking gentlemen sat quietly.
  • On the bus on my way home, I was very polite to an elderly gentleman by offering him my side of the seat where he'd be more comfortable.
  • In addition, instead of fashionably dressed young ladies stationed at the gate to usher in the movie-goers, formally attired old gentlemen will be assigned to do the job.
2.1 (gentlemen) Used as a polite form of address to a group of men: “Can I help you, gentlemen?”
More example sentences
  • The future of mankind has been set in ink and, gentlemen, you might want to sit yourselves down for the results.
  • ‘Thank you for your offer, gentlemen,’ he says.
  • We're going to have to leave it there, gentlemen.
2.2Used as a courteous designation for a male fellow member of the US House of Representatives.
Example sentences
  • Senator, thank you for joining us, a fine gentleman and a fine representative from the state of Missouri.
  • In the tradition of the House, the gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  • And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done and for what we will do together.


Middle English (in the sense 'man of noble birth'): from gentle1 + man, translating Old French gentilz hom. In later use the term denoted a man of a good family (especially one entitled to a coat of arms) but not of the nobility.

Words that rhyme with gentleman


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gent·le·man

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