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gentleman

[jen-tl-muh n] /ˈdʒɛn tl mən/
noun, plural gentlemen.
1.
a man of good family, breeding, or social position.
2.
(used as a polite term) a man:
Do you know that gentleman over there?
3.
gentlemen, (used as a form of address):
Gentlemen, please come this way.
4.
a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered man:
He behaved like a true gentleman.
5.
a male personal servant, especially of a man of social position; valet.
6.
a male attendant upon a king, queen, or other royal person, who is himself of high birth or rank.
7.
a man of good social standing, as a noble or an armigerous commoner.
8.
a man with an independent income who does not work for a living.
9.
a male member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives:
The chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts.
10.
History/Historical. a man who is above the rank of yeoman.
Origin
1225-1275
1225-75; Middle English; see gentle, man1
Related forms
gentlemanlike, adjective
undergentleman, noun, plural undergentlemen.
ungentlemanlike, adjective
Synonyms
4. See man.
Usage note
See lady.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for gentlemen
  • The dedication of these two gentlemen runners demonstrates the strength of our united power.
  • It's far less interesting and yet ultimately more profound than kinky outfits and all-gentlemen salons.
  • Secondly, the gentlemen above who talked about working his way through school to stay out of debt.
  • Those gentlemen who reach posterity are not much more numerous than the planets.
  • gentlemen always shake hands when they are introduced to each other.
  • Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.
  • The example of his conversion moved sixty gentlemen to devote themselves to an austere penitential life.
  • Noble gentlemen seek harmony but aren't afraid of diversity.
  • Both narrators receive instruction from tough-as-nails but paternal southern gentlemen.
  • Both gentlemen took seats, when they conversed in their usual friendly way upon the topics of the hour.
British Dictionary definitions for gentlemen

gentleman

/ˈdʒɛntəlmən/
noun (pl) -men
1.
a man regarded as having qualities of refinement associated with a good family
2.
a man who is cultured, courteous, and well-educated
3.
a polite name for a man
4.
the personal servant of a gentleman (esp in the phrase gentleman's gentleman)
5.
(Brit, history) a man of gentle birth, who was entitled to bear arms, ranking above a yeoman in social position
6.
(formerly) a smuggler
Derived Forms
gentlemanly, adjective
gentlemanliness, 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 gentlemen

gentleman

n.

"well-born man," early 13c., from gentle + man.

The Gentleman is always truthful and sincere; will not agree for the sake of complaisance or out of weakness ; will not pass over that of which he disapproves. He has a clear soul, and a fearless, straightforward tongue. On the other hand he is not blunt and rude. His truth is courteous; his courtesy, truthful; never a humbug, yet, where he truthfully can, he prefers to say pleasant things. [J.R. Vernon, "Contemporary Review," 1869]
Related: Gentlemen. Gentleman's agreement is first attested 1929. Gentleman farmer recorded from 1749.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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