Meaning of “gentleman” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"gentleman" in British English

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gentlemannoun [ C ]

uk /ˈdʒen.təl.mən/ us /ˈdʒen.t̬əl.mən/ plural -men uk /-mən/ us

B2 a polite way of talking to or referring to a man:

Ladies and gentlemen, the show is about to begin.
Excuse me, this gentleman has a question for you.

approving a man who is polite and behaves well towards other people, especially women:

He was a perfect gentleman.
Not holding a door for a lady? You're no gentleman, are you?

a man of a high social class:

a gentlemen's club

More examples

  • He was the embodiment of the English gentleman.
  • It's the mark of a gentleman to stand up when someone enters the room.
  • I am not personally acquainted with the gentleman in question.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, air-traffic control has now cleared the plane for take-off.
  • Shall we let the meeting commence, gentlemen?

(Definition of “gentleman” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"gentleman" in American English

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gentlemannoun [ C ]

us /ˈdʒen·təl·mən/ plural -men /ˈdʒen·təl·mən/

a man who is polite and behaves well toward other people:

a perfect gentleman

Gentleman is often used as a polite way of referring to any man:

This gentleman has a question.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention.

infml In speech, a gentleman often means simply a man:

The gentleman involved had a long history of this type of offense.

(Definition of “gentleman” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)