Definition of gentry in English:

gentry

noun

often the gentry
  • [mass noun] People of good social position, specifically the class of people next below the nobility in position and birth:

    ‘a member of the landed gentry’
    • ‘Dukes, duchesses, and barons made up the nobility, while the gentry consisted of knights and lords.’
    • ‘The source of ruling-class opposition was a distinct sector of the class, the landed gentry, and was perfectly rational in basis.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of people who would never consider themselves rich find they may be at risk from a tax they once associated with the landed gentry.’
    • ‘The dissolution of the monasteries strengthened the influence of the gentry and nobility and the shire became famous for its landed estates.’
    • ‘For years, the landed gentry have striven to keep secret the payments they received from Europe.’
    • ‘There was no striking surge of bourgeois capital into land, no great expropriation of the landed aristocracy or gentry.’
    • ‘The fair days of the early years were occasions when only the gentry were in a position to buy and sell.’
    • ‘The landed gentry lost almost all of their power and status in the industrial revolution.’
    • ‘The survival of the old elites extended to the gentry and petty nobility.’
    • ‘A number of these historians have remarked on the extent to which the very fluidity of the gentry's social composition promoted its obsession with form.’
    • ‘He was for the common people and against the corrupt and corrupting power of the gentry, nobility and royalty.’
    • ‘The area became very popular with the landed gentry and a number of substantial houses were built, including Foots Cray Place, Sidcup Place and Lamorbey.’
    • ‘There are even cellars, stables and a coach house, a hint to its previous life as a home for landed gentry, before the property was surrounded by a modern housing estate.’
    • ‘The heritage publishing specialist is also changing the way it chooses entries to reflect that the celebrities are now more likely to be role models than the landed gentry.’
    • ‘These traps were laid to snare the bare feet of any poor poacher who dared to trespass and steal the landed gentry's game of fish.’
    • ‘Staying here, it's easy to imagine that you have joined a private house party with the landed gentry.’
    • ‘But throughout the early modern period, men from the labouring poor, and women of all ranks below the gentry, were illiterate.’
    • ‘The same seems clearly true of the conception of pedigree that came to loom so large in the social thinking of the gentry of the late medieval and early modern ages.’
    • ‘Even America has its aristocracy, the landed gentry that haunt communities like the Hamptons.’
    • ‘All this drew the nobility and gentry to the city.’
    the upper classes, the upper middle class, the privileged classes, the wealthy, the elite, high society, the establishment, the haut monde, the county set, the smart set
    bhadralok
    the upper crust, the jet set, the beautiful people, the crème de la crème, the top drawer
    nobs, toffs
    swells
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘superiority of birth or rank’): from Anglo-Norman French genterie, based on gentil (see gentle).

Pronunciation:

gentry

/ˈdʒɛntri/