Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. People of gentle birth, good breeding, or high social position.
  • n. An upper or ruling class.
  • n. The class of English landowners ranking just below the nobility.
  • n. People of a particular class or group: another commuter from the suburban gentry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Birth; condition; rank by birth.
  • n. Courtesy; civility; complaisance.
  • n. People of education and good breeding.
  • n. In a restricted sense, those people between the nobility and the yeomanry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Birth; condition; rank by birth.
  • n. People of education and good breeding; in England, in a restricted sense, those between the nobility and the yeomanry.
  • n. Courtesy; civility; complaisance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Noble birth or lineage; gentility.
  • n. Family; gens.
  • n. Gentle breeding or manners; courtesy; civility.
  • n. A gentle or noble quality or action; a gentlemanly characteristic.
  • n. The class of well-born and well-bred people; people of good position; in England, the class of people of means or leisure below the rank of the nobility, sometimes called the upper middle class.
  • n. Persons of a particular class: usually applied in ironical civility to persons of an inferior sort.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the most powerful members of a society

Etymologies

Middle English gentri, nobility of birth, from Old French genterie, variant of genterise, gentilise, from gentil, noble; see gentle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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