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See also: Gentleman
- IPA(key): /ˈdʒɛn.təl.mən/
- (General American) IPA(key): [ˈdʒɛɾ̃.ɫ̩.mən]
Audio (US) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: gentle‧man
gentleman (plural gentlemen)
- (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.
- Any well-bred, well-mannered, or charming man.
- 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.”
- (derogatory) An effeminate or oversophisticated man.
- (polite term of address) Any man.
- (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.
- (cricket) An amateur player, particularly one whose wealth permits him to forego payment.
- 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.
Terms derived from gentleman
- Chinese Pidgin English: gentleman
- → Danish: gentleman
- → Esperanto: ĝentlemano
- → French: gentleman
- → Georgian: ჯენტლმენი (ǯenṭlmeni)
- → Mohegan-Pequot: gundermon
- → Polish: dżentelmen
- → Portuguese: gentleman
- → Spanish: gentleman
man of breeding
polite term for a man
polite form of address to men
toilets intended for use by men
Chinese Pidgin English
- 毡地文 (Chinese characters)
- 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.)”
- “gentleman” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
gentleman m (plural gentlemen)
- British gentleman