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1. A woman of gentle or noble birth or superior social position.
2. A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behavior.
3. A woman acting as a personal attendant to a lady of rank.

gen′tle·wom′an·ly adj.


n, pl -women
1. archaic a woman regarded as being of good family or breeding; lady
2. rare a woman who is cultured, courteous, and well-educated
3. (Historical Terms) history a woman in personal attendance on a high-ranking lady
ˈgentleˌwomanly adj
ˈgentleˌwomanliness n


(ˈdʒɛn tlˌwʊm ən)

n., pl. -wom•en.
1. a woman of good family, breeding, or social position.
2. a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered woman; lady.
3. a woman who attends upon a lady of rank.
gen′tle•wom`an•ly, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gentlewoman - a woman of refinementgentlewoman - a woman of refinement; "a chauffeur opened the door of the limousine for the grand lady"
grande dame - a middle-aged or elderly woman who is stylish and highly respected
madame - title used for a married Frenchwoman
adult female, woman - an adult female person (as opposed to a man); "the woman kept house while the man hunted"


(archaic) [ˈdʒentlˌwʊmən] N (gentlewomen (pl)) (by birth) → dama f, señora f de buena familia


n pl <-women> (dated)Dame f(von Stand); (at court) → Hofdame f; (Hist, = attendant) → Zofe f
References in classic literature ?
However, I did come away, and lived almost a year more with my honest old woman, and began now to be very helpful to her; for I was almost fourteen years old, was tall of my age, and looked a little womanish; but I had such a taste of genteel living at the lady's house that I was not so easy in my old quarters as I used to be, and I thought it was fine to be a gentlewoman indeed, for I had quite other notions of a gentlewoman now than I had before; and as I thought, I say, that it was fine to be a gentlewoman, so I loved to be among gentlewomen, and therefore I longed to be there again.
There is a knight in this country that owneth this white shield, and he is a passing good man of his hands, but he hateth all ladies and gentlewomen, and therefore we do all this despite to the shield.
There is a sort of freemasonry among gentlewomen, is there not?
The exchange movement began in 1832, when Elizabeth Stott, a prominent widow of means, recruited women of similar wealth and social standing to establish the Philadelphia Ladies' Depository, a marketplace for impoverished gentlewomen to sell homemade handiwork on a consignment basis.
The wars of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries helped create a surfeit of dependent gentlewomen, and the social structure of the era gave them little or no opportunity to find the means to live on their own.
OpleIT is assumed that diplomats behave like perfect gentlemen and gentlewomen, using wit and humor to make their guests feel at home, and comporting themselves with grace and dignity at all times.
Similarly, Makin's An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen is a less familiar text than Mary Astell's A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, but both, in the editors' terms, employ "the discourse of the Fall to comment on women's acquisition of knowledge" (137nl).
I feel no distress over the plight of Distressed Gentlewomen, no urge to assist the Bible Society.
Bon, je vous le dis d'entree de jeu : gentlemen (ou gentlewomen, si ca existe) s'abstenir
They include Dorothy Leigh's The Mother's Blessing, Poets Have Most Pleasure in this Life from Margaret Cavendish's Poems and Fancies, Bathsua Makin's An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen, Mary Astell's A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, and Lady Mark Chudleigh's The Ladies' Defense.
Gentlewomen and Learned Ladies: Women and Elite Formation in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia.