Definition of gentleman's agreement in US English:

gentleman's agreement

(also gentlemen's agreement)


  • An arrangement or understanding which is based upon the trust of both or all parties, rather than being legally binding.

    ‘a gentleman's agreement by the grain growers not to enter the wheat market’
    • ‘Although the group drew up all the appropriate legal papers to form the corporation and to establish by-laws, many things were done by gentlemen's agreements.’
    • ‘‘There's been a gentlemen's agreement over time by both parties that you only do redistricting in a year ending in one,’ explains the Representative.’
    • ‘Opposition parties accused the Conservatives of breaking a gentleman's agreement to rotate the role of Swindon Mayor between parties.’
    • ‘This problem was initially ‘solved’ by a gentleman's agreement among publicly funded scientists who worked with gene sequences.’
    • ‘Traditionally police have a gentlemen's agreement with these institutions - they butt in only if invited because they trust schools and churches to police themselves.’
    agreement, arrangement, deal, bargain, settlement, pledge, promise, pact, compact, contract, concord, treaty, covenant, bond
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gentleman's agreement

/ˈjen(t)lmənz əˌɡrēmənt/