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Gentlemen vs. Gentleman: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Gentleman" is used as a polite or formal reference to a man, while "Gentlemen" is its plural form, referring collectively to multiple men.
Gentlemen vs. Gentleman

Key Differences

The term "gentleman" traditionally denotes a man of good manners or noble birth. In contemporary usage, it refers to a man who is courteous and honorable in behavior. On the flip side, "gentlemen" is simply the plural form, used to address or describe two or more such individuals who embody these qualities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
In formal settings, "gentleman" may be employed to single out a man for his polite conduct or as a respectful form of address. "Gentlemen," however, is utilized when addressing a group, implying that all present are expected to uphold a similar standard of decorum.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
When one speaks of a "gentleman," it may also imply a certain sophistication or a man who adheres to traditional standards of dress and etiquette. "Gentlemen" used in the same context amplifies this expectation, suggesting a collective adherence to these standards by a group of men.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
The use of "gentleman" can be specific and individual, often highlighting the personal qualities of a single man. "Gentlemen," being plural, speaks to a broader application, perhaps referring to men in a particular venue or in the phrase "ladies and gentlemen."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
One might refer to a "gentleman's agreement," indicating a pact based on mutual trust between two men, whereas "gentlemen's agreement" would imply the same between multiple parties. This slight change in number from singular to plural has implications for the scope of the subject being discussed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Number

Plural
Singular
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Nov 10, 2023

Address

Used for groups
Used for an individual
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Nov 10, 2023

Implication

Collective decorum
Individual manners
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Nov 10, 2023

Agreements

Multiple parties involved
Usually between two parties
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Nov 10, 2023

Formality

Often used in plural address (e.g., events)
Can be both formal and personal address
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
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Gentlemen and Gentleman Definitions

Gentlemen

Adult males collectively regarded with courtesy.
The club's rules are clear, gentlemen must wear jackets.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Gentleman

An individual male of noble or gentle birth.
As a gentleman of the court, he was privy to the king's council.
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Nov 10, 2023

Gentlemen

A group of men considered well-mannered and refined.
The gathering was full of gentlemen of distinction.
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Nov 10, 2023

Gentleman

A man with a high standard of personal behavior.
He was known to be a gentleman in both his professional and personal life.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Gentlemen

Male members of the gentry or aristocracy.
The gentlemen of the estate were known for their generosity.
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Nov 10, 2023
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Gentleman

A polite or formal term for referring to a man.
The gentleman at the door has a delivery for you.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Gentlemen

Men of honorable conduct collectively.
The gentlemen agreed to the terms with a handshake.
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Nov 10, 2023

Gentleman

A man of gentle or noble birth or superior social position
"He's too much a gentleman to be a scholar" (Aphra Behn).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

The male audience or group addressed formally.
Gentlemen, please take your seats.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Gentleman

A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper behavior. See Usage Note at lady.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

A man of gentle or noble birth or superior social position
"He's too much a gentleman to be a scholar" (Aphra Behn).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man of independent means who does not need to have a wage-paying job.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper behavior. See Usage Note at lady.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man
Do you know this gentleman?.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

A man of independent means who does not need to have a wage-paying job.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

Gentlemen (-mən) Used as a form of address for a group of men.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

A man
Do you know this gentleman?.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A manservant; a valet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

Gentlemen (-mən) Used as a form of address for a group of men.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man of gentle but not noble birth, particularly a man of means (originally ownership of property) who does not work for a living but has no official status in a peerage; an armiferous man ranking below a knight.
Being a gentleman, Robert was entitled to shove other commoners into the gongpit but he still had to jump out of the way of the knights to avoid the same fate himself.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

A manservant; a valet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

Any well-bred, well-mannered, or charming man.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

Plural of gentleman
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Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

An effeminate or oversophisticated man.
Well, la-di-da, aren't you just a proper gentleman?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentlemen

Alternative form of gentlemen's: a men's room, a lavatory intended for use by men.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

Any man.
Please escort this gentleman to the gentlemen's room.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

An amateur or dabbler in any field, particularly those of independent means.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

(cricket) An amateur player, particularly one whose wealth permits him to forego payment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man well born; one of good family; one above the condition of a yeoman.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

One of gentle or refined manners; a well-bred man.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

One who bears arms, but has no title.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

The servant of a man of rank.
The count's gentleman, one Cesario.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man, irrespective of condition; - used esp. in the plural (= citizens; people), in addressing men in popular assemblies, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man of refinement
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A manservant who acts as a personal attendant to his employer;
Jeeves was Bertie Wooster's man
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Gentleman

A man who is courteous and respectful.
He was a true gentleman, always polite and helpful.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Gentleman

A man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure.
The gentleman spent his days engaged in various cultural pursuits.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can "gentleman" imply nobility?

Traditionally, yes, but it's broadly used now for courtesy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is "gentlemen" ever used for women?

No, it's specifically masculine.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is "gentlemen" used in modern language?

Yes, especially as a formal address for a group of men.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can "gentleman" refer to any man?

Yes, it's a respectful term for any adult male.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Do "gentleman" and "gentlemen" have the same meaning?

Yes, but "gentleman" is singular, and "gentlemen" is plural.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is "gentlemen" formal or informal?

It's typically used in formal contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Does "gentlemen" suggest a certain behavior?

Yes, it suggests courteous and honorable conduct.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Are "gentlemen's agreements" legally binding?

No, they're based on honor, not legality.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can "gentleman" refer to character rather than gender?

Yes, it primarily refers to a man's conduct.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can a young boy be called a "gentleman"?

It's less common but can be used to encourage polite behavior.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can "gentleman" be used ironically?

Yes, to highlight ungentlemanly behavior.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Do "gentleman" and "gentlemen" have legal definitions?

Not in modern use, but historically in terms of social class.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is "gentlemen" used in the phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen"?

Yes, it's a common formal address in public speaking.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Are "gentleman" and "gentlemen" outdated?

They're traditional but still in use.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Does "gentleman" have different meanings in different cultures?

Yes, its connotations can vary internationally.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Are "gentlemen's clubs" exclusive to men?

Historically, yes, though the term is now more flexible.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is "gentleman farmer" a current term?

Yes, it refers to someone who farms for pleasure, not income.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can "gentleman" be used as an adjective?

No, it's a noun; "gentlemanly" is the adjective form.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is it appropriate to address a group as "gentlemen" in a business setting?

Yes, if the group is all-male, though it's becoming less common.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can "gentleman" be used in professional titles?

Yes, like "Gentleman Usher" in British ceremonial roles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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