Definition of gentlefolk in US English:


plural noun

  • People of high social position.

    ‘born of gentlefolk, she lived near Godalming in Surrey’
    • ‘It is often debated whether there was a real distinction, in later medieval England, between the culture of the expanded aristocracy of gentlefolk and that of the higher, traditional, chivalrous aristocracy.’
    • ‘The sum is the money lost on sales of cigars and brandies when gentlefolk once repaired after dinner to the Oval Office downstairs to blow rings of smoke and converse.’
    • ‘To slightly rephrase Hal in his next play, Henry V, ‘And gentlefolk in New York now abed / Shall think themselves accursed they were not here.’’
    • ‘They attempt to replicate domestic society, driving to the club with ‘the jog-trot of country gentlefolk between green hedgerows.’’
    • ‘For much of the 19th century wave upon wave of gentlefolk of both nations descended on the Riviera, sketching, botanising and indulging in soirées musicales, and all for the sake of their health.’