What word does your mother always say?


[jen-tree] /ˈdʒɛn tri/
wellborn and well-bred people.
(in England) the class below the nobility.
an upper or ruling class; aristocracy.
those who are not members of the nobility but are entitled to a coat of arms, especially those owning large tracts of land.
(used with a plural verb) people, especially considered as a specific group, class, or kind:
The polo crowd doesn't go there, but these hockey gentry do.
the state or condition of being a gentleman.
Origin of gentry
1275-1325; Middle English < Old French genterie. See gentile, gentle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gentry
  • Nobility and gentry were allowed to ride the coaches, but not soldiers and peasants.
  • Their upbringing was a conventional one of landed gentry with insufficient means.
  • So, not by chance, have other old sports practised or patronised by the gentry.
  • He discovered that he had invented a gentry almost as cynical as he was himself.
  • Meanwhile the traditional landed gentry were themselves becoming increasingly drawn into the world of commerce and finance.
  • But in booting out the landed gentry, it also ditched many of those who came from the provinces.
  • The movies of the nineteen-thirties taught him about penthouse life and the quainter locutions of the gentry.
  • The first suburbs bore those same pretensions of a broad gentry.
  • Cars meant for the gentry usually provide a decorous mode of travel, valuing restraint above all.
  • Born into the landed gentry, he worked as a civil servant while writing and editing for radical journals.
British Dictionary definitions for gentry


persons of high birth or social standing; aristocracy
(Brit) persons just below the nobility in social rank
(informal, often derogatory) people, esp of a particular group or kind
Word Origin
C14: from Old French genterie, from gentilgentle
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 gentry

c.1300, "nobility of rank or birth," from Old French genterise, variant of gentilise "noble birth, gentleness," from gentil (see gentle). Meaning "noble persons" is from 1520s. Earlier in both senses was gentrice (c.1200 as "nobility of character," late 14c. as "noble persons"). In Anglo-Irish, gentry was a name for "the fairies" (1880), and gentle could mean "enchanted" (1823).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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