While reading a Wiki blog, I could not get the following sentence:

He was born at Wynford Eagle in Dorset, where his father was a gentleman of property.

I tried to google the word but instead got a longer version- Gentleman of property and standing.

What is the meaning of 'gentleman of property'? Is it an idiomatic expression for a property dealer or broker?

  • 1
    A gentleman of properry is a man of means. It connotes a person who is wealthy; who is not required to labor in return for his sustenance. Sep 10, 2016 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


To my (American) ear, the phrase "a gentleman of property" sounds like quaint British English. I might expect to find this phrase in a Jane Austen novel (written in the early nineteenth century) or perhaps in a Charles Dickens novel (written in the mid-nineteenth century).

Within that context, it is idiomatic for "an upper-class man who owns enough income-producing property that he does not need to work for a living."

This particular quotation is from a Wikipedia article about a seventeenth-century soldier/physician. The article was originally copied from a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article, which had a longer description: "a gentleman of property and good pedigree."

  • Can we add 'standing' in this idiomatic expression as some websites show me the result: A gentleman of property and standing? Does 'standing' change the meaning?
    – Rucheer M
    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:30
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    "A gentleman of property and standing" is implied to be respected within his community. This is consistent with the meaning of "A gentleman of property", but is also more specific. "Good pedigree" implies that his ancestors were respected.
    – Jasper
    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:00
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    Standing implies acceptance within society. In principle a person might have social standing without having property or might have property and less social standing (somehow having earned one's wealth can diminish one's standing) but in general the two will go together. You might watch the BBC Sitcom "To the Manor Born" to get some idea of the difference.
    – djna
    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:02
  • More to the point, "and standing" means they are socially accepted within the community of other wealthy people. You can compare the treatment of so-called "new money" individuals, who might be fabulously wealthy, but don't act like people who have had lots of money for many generations, and so are not socially accepted by that group. Feb 25, 2022 at 7:01

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