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GENTLEMAN. In the English law, according to Sir Edward Coke, is one who bears a coat of armor. 2 Inst. 667. In the United States, this word is unknown to the law, but in many places it is applied, by courtesy, to all men. See Poth. Proc. Crim. sect. 1, App. Sec. 3.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
You are mad, gentlemen!" said Athos, shrugging his shoulders.
"It is true, nevertheless, gentlemen. Men of my rank are not generally liars.
"Beware, gentlemen, it is not to me you are now giving the lie, it is to your leader."
"Thus questioned, gentlemen, I no longer hesitate," said Athos.
I happened to come home several hours before my usual time, when I found four gentlemen of the cloth at whist by my fire;--and my Hoyle, sir--my best Hoyle, which cost me a guinea, lying open on the table, with a quantity of porter spilt on one of the most material leaves of the whole book.
A flash of lightning startled the gentlemen when they went to the window to look out: the thunderstorm began.
He had been instructed to wake the gentlemen early; and he knocked at their door.
"Give me a moment, gentlemen," he said to the jury.
Gentlemen, I beg your pardon; this is my friend Mr.
After a great many jokes about squeezing the ladies' sleeves, and a vast quantity of blushing at sundry jocose proposals, that the ladies should sit in the gentlemen's laps, the whole party were stowed down in the barouche; and the stout gentleman proceeded to hand the things from the fat boy (who had mounted up behind for the purpose) into the carriage.
'Now, Joe, knives and forks.' The knives and forks were handed in, and the ladies and gentlemen inside, and Mr.
Trundle, and then the two gentlemen took wine, after which they took a glass of wine round, ladies and all.