American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1

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Author: Noah Webster

Gentleman

GEN’TLEMAN, a. [gentle, that is, genteel, and man. See Genteel.]

1. In its most extensive sense, in Great Britain, every man above the rank of yeomen, comprehending noblemen. In a more limited sense, a man, who without a title,bears a coat of arms, or whose ancestors have been freemen. In this sense, gentlemen hold a middle rank between the nobility and yeomanry.

2. In the United States, where titles and distinctions of rank do not exist, the term is applied to men of education and of good breeding, of every occupation. Indeed this is also the popular practice in Great Britain. Hence,

3. A man of good breeding, politeness, and civil manners, as distinguished from the vulgar and clownish.

A plowman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.

4. A term of complaisance. In the plural,the appellation by which men are addressed in popular assemblies,whatever may be their condition or character.

5. In Great Britain, the servant of a man of rank, who attends his person.

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Chicago: Noah Webster Jr., "Gentleman," American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1 in An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1 (New York: S. Converse, 1828), Original Sources, accessed September 18, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZ57GWLNXRDAVMW.

MLA: Webster, Noah, Jr. "Gentleman." American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1, in An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1, New York, S. Converse, 1828, Original Sources. 18 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZ57GWLNXRDAVMW.

Harvard: Webster, N, 'Gentleman' in American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1. cited in 1828, An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1, S. Converse, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 18 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZ57GWLNXRDAVMW.