gentleman patrician, aristocrat are comparable when they denote a person of good or noble birth.
Gentleman basically implies descent from good family, the right to bear a coat of arms, and social rank just below that of the noble and above that of the yeoman. The term has been widely extended in its application and has acquired connotations which have little or nothing to do directly with lineage or heraldic rights but suggest only such outward marks of good birth as elegance of person and of manners and a life of leisure

a gentleman ... I'll be sworn thou art; thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit, do give thee five-fold blazon— Shak.


somebody has said that a king may make a nobleman, but he cannot make a gentlemanBurke


the gentleman may be a drunkard, a gambler, a debauchee . . .; he may be a man of spotless life, able and honest; but he must on no account be a man with broad palms, a workman amongst workmen- Tom Collins

Patrician derives its implications from its historical applications but chiefly from its earliest reference to a Roman citizen who belonged to one of the original families of ancient Rome which, after the growth of the plebeian order, kept power and authority in their own hands. In reference to present-day persons the word suggests a distinguished ancestry, superior culture, and aloofness from what is common or vulgar; it is applied chiefly to descendants of established and influential families when they constitute a social caste, especially one marked by exclusiveness and pride in birth

the merchant patricians [of Boston], like those of Holland and Flanders, in times gone by, wished to perpetuate their names and glorify their capital not only in the elegance of their mansions but also in churches, parks and public buildings— Brooks

Aristocrat carries fewer suggestions of inbred physical characteristics than gentleman or patrician, but it suggests a sympathy with the point of view common to them. In historical use it commonly implies an opposition to democrat and is applicable to a person who believes in government by superior persons or by the class which includes such persons; in more general use it is commonly applied to a person who by reason of birth, breeding, title, wealth, or outlook is accorded recognition as a member of the highest caste and especially to one who holds himself somewhat aloof from the ordinary forms and observances of social life

two kinds of aristocrats: one that assumes the right to govern without the consent of the people; the other that assumes the privilege of an exclusive private life— Charles Beard


a genuine aristocrat, he was at home in all walks of life— Smelser & Kirwin

Antonyms: boor
Contrasted words: lout, clown, churl (see BOOR)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gentleman — Gentleman …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • gentleman — [ ʒɑ̃tləman; dʒɛntləman ] n. m. • 1698; gentilleman 1558; angl. gentleman, d apr. gentilhomme 1 ♦ Homme distingué, d une parfaite éducation. ⇒ gentilhomme (2o). Se comporter en gentleman. Arsène Lupin, le gentleman cambrioleur. Des gentlemans ou… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gentleman — en 2005. Tilmann Otto (19 de abril de 1975 en Osnabrück, Alemania), mejor conocido por su nombre artístico Gentleman, es un Músico del Reggae. Contenido 1 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gentleman — Sm Mann von Lebensart und Charakter erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. gentleman, einer Lehnübersetzung zu frz. gentilhomme, beides ursprünglich Edelmann . ne. gentle geht über frz. gentil zurück auf l. gentīlis… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Gentleman — Gen tle*man, n.; pl. {Gentlemen}. [OE. gentilman nobleman; gentil noble + man man; cf. F. gentilhomme.] [1913 Webster] 1. A man well born; one of good family; one above the condition of a yeoman. [1913 Webster] 2. One of gentle or refined… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gentleman — GENTLEMAN, gentlemeni, s.m. Bărbat cu comportări alese, ireproşabile, cu caracter distins. [pr.: géntlmen] – cuv. engl. Trimis de gall, 03.05.2008. Sursa: DEX 98  GENTLEM//AN [pr.: géntlmen] gentlemanani m. Persoană care respectă cu stricteţe… …   Dicționar Român

  • gentleman — (n.) well born man, early 13c., from GENTLE (Cf. gentle) + MAN (Cf. man). The Gentleman is always truthful and sincere; will not agree for the sake of complaisance or out of weakness ; will not pass over that of which he disapproves. He has a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • gentleman — The word gentleman, formerly a term indicating social class, has largely fallen out of use in this meaning with the gradual erosion of class distinctions. It survives as a form of address (usually as ladies and gentlemen), in the phrase gentleman …   Modern English usage

  • gentleman — [jent′ l mən] n. pl. gentlemen [jent′ lmən] [ME gentilman (after OFr gentilz hom): see GENTLE & MAN] 1. a) Obs. a man born into a family of high social standing b) any man of independent means who does not work for a living …   English World dictionary

  • Gentleman — (engl., spr. dschéntl män, entsprechend im gewissen Sinn den französischen Ausdrücken »gentilhomme« und »galant homme«, mehr noch dem italienischen gentiluomo) ist zunächst in England eine Standesbezeichnung. Früher bezeichnete man mit G. den… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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