Webster 1913 Edition
manman; cf. F.
A man well born; one of good family; one above the condition of a yeoman.
One of gentle or refined manners; a well-bred man.
One who bears arms, but has no title.
The servant of a man of rank.
gentleman, one Cesario.
A man, irrespective of condition; – used esp. in the plural (= citizens; people), in addressing men in popular assemblies, etc.
☞ In Great Britain, the term gentleman is applied in a limited sense to those having coats of arms, but who are without a title, and, in this sense, gentlemen hold a middle rank between the nobility and yeomanry. In a more extended sense, it includes every man above the rank of yeoman, comprehending the nobility. In the United States, the term is applied to men of education and good breeding of every occupation.
one of the highest class of commoners at the University of Oxford.–
one who ushers visitors into the presence of a sovereign, etc.–
Gentleman usher of the black rod,
an usher belonging to the Order of the Garter, whose chief duty is to serve as official messenger of the House of Lords.–
a band of forty gentlemen who attend the sovereign on state occasions; formerly called
Webster 1828 Edition
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.