gentleman

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See also: Gentleman

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has articles on:
Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English gentilman, morphologically gentle +‎ man, calque of Old French gentilhome.

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

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; (UK 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.
  2. Any well-bred, well-mannered, or charming man.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, 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 notes[edit]

  • 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 terms[edit]

Terms derived from gentleman

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Translations[edit]


Chinese Pidgin English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English gentleman.

Noun[edit]

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:
      希郎温毡地文'託其
      Hei1 long4 wan1 zin1 dei6 man4 tok3 kei4.
      He is talking with a gentleman.
      (literally, “He long one gentleman talkee.”)

References[edit]

  • 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.)”

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English gentleman.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

gentleman m (plural gentlemen or gentlemans)

  1. gentleman, especially an anglophone one

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English gentleman.

Noun[edit]

gentleman m (plural gentlemeni)

  1. gentleman

Declension[edit]


Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

gentleman m (plural gentlemen)

  1. British gentleman

Further reading[edit]