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gentry

[jen-tree] /ˈdʒɛn tri/
noun
1.
wellborn and well-bred people.
2.
(in England) the class below the nobility.
3.
an upper or ruling class; aristocracy.
4.
those who are not members of the nobility but are entitled to a coat of arms, especially those owning large tracts of land.
5.
(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.
6.
the state or condition of being a gentleman.
Origin of gentry
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English < Old French genterie. See gentile, gentle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for gentry

gentry

/ˈdʒɛntrɪ/
noun
1.
persons of high birth or social standing; aristocracy
2.
(Brit) persons just below the nobility in social rank
3.
(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
n.

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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10
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