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[jen-tl-woo m-uh n] /ˈdʒɛn tlˌwʊm ən/
noun, plural gentlewomen.
a woman of good family, breeding, or social position.
a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered woman; lady.
a woman who attends upon a lady of rank.
a female member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives:
The chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Maine.
Origin of gentlewoman
1200-50; Middle English; see gentle, woman
Related forms
gentlewomanly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gentlewoman
Historical Examples
  • He saw also that she was a gentlewoman fitted for more refined pursuits.

    The Man Who Was Good Leonard Merrick
  • It may be said of her that she was at all points a gentlewoman.

    Cousin Henry Anthony Trollope
  • Now sirs, said the gentlewoman, wit ye well that the drawing of this sword is warned to all men save all only to you.

  • I should like you to remember that you're speaking to a gentlewoman,' I said. '

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • Then went the gentlewoman and set it on the girdle of the sword.

  • His smacking of a gentlewoman is somewhat too savory, and he mistakes her nose for her lips.

    Microcosmography John Earle
  • She must never forget that she was a New England gentlewoman; she must learn the traditions, stiffen with the pride of her race.

  • Then the gentlewoman turned and said, 'Percivale, do you know who I am?'

  • It was reluctant to show her the courtesy due to a gentlewoman.

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

British Dictionary definitions for gentlewoman


noun (pl) -women
(archaic) a woman regarded as being of good family or breeding; lady
(rare) a woman who is cultured, courteous, and well-educated
(history) a woman in personal attendance on a high-ranking lady
Derived Forms
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
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Word Origin and History for gentlewoman

early 13c., from gentle + woman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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