See also: Gentleman


English Wikipedia has articles on:


Morphologically gentle +‎ man, calque of French gentilhomme.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdʒɛn.təl.mən/
  • (General American) IPA(key): [ˈdʒɛɾ̃.ɫ̩.mən]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: gentle‧man


gentleman (plural gentlemen)

  1. (chiefly historical) A man of gentle but not noble birth, particularly a man of means (originally ownership of property) who does not work for a living but has no official status in a peerage; (Britain law) an armiferous man ranking below a knight.
    Being a gentleman, Robert was entitled to shove other commoners into the gongpit but he still had to jump out of the way of the knights to avoid the same fate himself.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “[…] This is Mr. Churchill, who, as you are aware, is good enough to come to us for his diaconate, and, as we hope, for much longer; and being a gentleman of independent means, he declines to take any payment.” Saying this Walden rubbed his hands together and smiled contentedly.
  2. Any well-bred, well-mannered, or charming man.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom relaxed.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, []. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. [] I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
    • 2011, Pappas, Mike, Growing Up the Greek Way in the Big Apple, page 103:
      She wanted to go see a movie called Gigi, which I was not too thrilled about. But being a gentleman, I bit my tongue and said, “Okay.”
  3. (derogatory) An effeminate or oversophisticated man.
    Synonyms: cockney, puss-gentleman, sissy; see also Thesaurus:effeminate man
    Well, la-di-da, aren't you just a proper gentleman?
  4. (polite term of address) Any man.
    Synonym: sahib
    Coordinate terms: lady, gentlewoman, (historical) gentlelady
    Please escort this gentleman to the gentlemen's room.
  5. (usually historical, sometimes derogatory) An amateur or dabbler in any field, particularly those of independent means.
    Synonym: dilettante
    • 2004, Woods, Mary N., “The First Professional: Benjamin Henry Latrobe”, in Keith L. Eggener, editor, American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader, electronic edition, Routledge, →ISBN, page 119:
      Latrobe had extensive dealings with Jefferson, the most prominent gentleman-architect in the United States.
  6. (cricket) An amateur player, particularly one whose wealth permits him to forego payment.
    Coordinate terms: professional, (historical) player

Usage notesEdit

  • Although gentleman is used in reference to a man and gentlemen is used as a polite form of address to a group of men, it is more common to directly address a single gentleman as sir.
  • The singular possesive of the sense "any well-bred, well-mannered, or charming man" can appear in ad hoc compounds to describe a polite way of doing something; e.g. a "gentleman's sweep" when a dominant basketball team allowed the opponent one win in a series[1].

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from gentleman

Related termsEdit



Chinese Pidgin EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From English gentleman.



  1. A respectful term for a person of either sex: gentleman, lady
    • 1862, T‘ong Ting-Kü, Ying Ü Tsap T’sün, or The Chinese and English Instructor, volume 4, Canton, page 39:
      Hei1 long4 wan1 zin1 dei6 man4 tok3 kei4.
      He is talking with a gentleman.
      (literally, “He long one gentleman talkee.”)


  • Gow, W. S. P. (1924) Gow’s Guide to Shanghai, 1924: A Complete, Concise and Accurate Handbook of the City and District, Especially Compiled for the Use of Tourists and Commercial Visitors to the Far East, Shanghai, page 105: “Gentleman: does not always indicate the male sex. e.g. “outside have got two piece gentleman, one belong missee.” (Lunde.)”



Borrowed from English gentleman.



gentleman m (plural gentlemen or gentlemans)

  1. gentleman, especially an anglophone one

Further readingEdit




gentleman m (plural gentlemen)

  1. British gentleman