What makes a gentleman? Do you become a gentleman when you dress well, speak in a refined accent, and lead a luxurious life?
Au contraire, being a gentleman is about so much more than one’s possessions. It’s about being a kind, strong and gentle man, to be admired. Thus, it’s more about your qualities and virtues than your education and money.
Here are 151 motivational quotes from great men across different fields and disciplines (along with commentary) to help you become a modern-day gentleman and inspire you to achieve greatness.
Motivational Quotes About Life
1. “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.” –George Bernard Shaw
This quote by one of the greatest playwrights of all time is the perfect definition of a gentleman. A gentleman isn’t concerned only about himself. Instead, he cares about giving more to the people around him.
2. “Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.” –Benjamin Disraeli
There’s a lot of debate around what makes a man manly or gentlemanlike. This quote on becoming a gentleman reminds you that it’s not about strength and power. But what matters is that you feel deeply and express your emotions freely.
3. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” –Theodore Roosevelt
4. “As a general rule, it pays to be confident, helpful, and nice.” –Colin Wright
This quote truly inspires you to greatness. It’s all about being helpful and nice to others. Moreover, you should have confidence in your deeds and values.
5. “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.” –John Locke
This quote is an excellent reminder that education isn’t alone enough to make you a gentleman. It’s about what you read and the company you keep. Plus, reflection on your behavior and attitude also sets you apart from the crowd.
6. “A gentleman knows his actions carry more weight than any words spoken.” –Unknown
A gentleman knows empty vessels sound the most. That’s why he doesn’t speak much but proves his worth through actions.
7. “Etiquette is more important than a handshake. It’s code for the way things are done.” –Unknown
8. “Be humble. Be hungry. And be the hardest worker in the room.” –Dwayne Johnson
A gentleman isn’t proud and arrogant. He is simple, down-to-earth, and always hungry for knowledge. Moreover, he strives to work hard and not sit idle.
9. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” –Steve Martin
10. “Celebrate the effort, for it is in the trying that you discover you.” –Sima Dahl
11. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Courage alone doesn’t make you a gentleman. How you behave with others also matters. And a true gentleman is polite and well-behaved.
12. “Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” –Ralph Marston
13. “You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry.” –Abraham Lincoln
The former US President is known for his contributions towards the eradication of racism. Thus, he was a true gentleman.
Lincoln rightly says that you can understand a man by what makes him angry. If a man gets angry at small things and treats others with disrespect, he is not a gentleman.
A gentleman won’t get angry easily. And even if anger gets the better of him, he won’t disrespect someone.
14. “Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.” –Unknown
15. “Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice.” –Vin Diesel
Being born as a male is not a big deal. It’s a biological phenomenon. You become a man with age and experience. But whether you become a gentleman is solely up to you.
In other words, the conscious decisions and choices you make, decide whether you are a gentleman.
16. “Hardship is the native soil of manhood and self-reliance.” –John Neal
17. “If you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” –Conan O’Brien
18. “All successes begin with self-discipline. It starts with you.” –Dwayne Johnson
19. “Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.” –Dean Jackson.
20. “Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time.” –Luigi Pirandello
You can be heroic at times when you get to prove your bravery. But, being a gentleman is an everyday act. It’s about how you behave in your daily life.
21. “Manners matter. Good looks are a bonus. Humor is a must.” –Unknown
This quote reminds you that your behavior is important. And if you have good looks, that’s a gift. But, what completes you is your sense of humor.
Won’t life become dull and boring without humor?
22. “A man is only as good as his words are.” –Frank Sinatra
This simple yet deep quote asks you to watch your words. How we speak to others defines us. A gentleman is never rude to people.
23. “Kindness is a language which the deaf can even hear and the blind can see.” –Mark Twain
24. “Never leave a good act undone just because it’s small.” –Liu Bei
25. “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” –Al Pacino
A real gentleman doesn’t think about what others can do for him. Instead, he helps people without expecting anything in return. That’s why he also helps people who can do nothing for him.
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26. “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” –Bryant H. McGill
You have to respect fellow humans to become a gentleman. And respect starts with being a good listener.
27. “Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.” –Jimmy John N. Mitchell
28. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” –Albert Einstein
29. “The most important things in life are the connections you make with others.” –Tom Ford
30. “Those who spend their time looking for the faults in others usually make no time to correct their own.” –Art Jonak
You can’t become a gentleman if you keep finding faults in others. That’s because you won’t get enough time to rectify your own mistakes.
Motivational Quotes for Success
31. “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” –Henri Frederic Amiel
32. “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” –Dalai Lama
33. “The only infallible rule we know is, that the man who is always talking about being a gentleman never is one.” –Robert Smith Surtees
34. “A gentleman is someone who does not what he wants to do, but what he should do.” –Haruki Murakami
A gentleman does not follow his whims and wishes. Instead, he thinks about the betterment of his fellow human beings.
35. “Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time.” –Luigi Pirandello
36. “The word of a gentleman is as good as his bond; and sometimes better.” –Charles Dickens
37. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” –Unknown
38. “A gentleman doesn’t have one set of manners for the house of a poor man and another for the house of someone with an income incomparable to his own.” –William Maxwell
Everyone is equal in the eyes of a gentleman. In other words, he doesn’t discriminate between the rich and the poor.
A gentleman doesn’t treat others based on their level of income or status in society. He is simple, humble, and confident with everyone he interacts with.
39. “A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude.” –Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde was an exceptionally talented writer. And this quote by him is deep and meaningful. He believes that a real gentleman is never rude, not even unintentionally.
That means a true gentleman has control over his negative emotions. And he doesn’t even dream of hurting someone unintentionally.
40. “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” –Unknown
This quote might be cliched. But it’s true. There’s no shortcut to becoming a gentleman. You have to strive every day to become a better person.
41. “Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style. That makes a gentleman.” –Unknown
42. “I think a gentleman is someone who holds the comfort of other people above their own. The instinct to do that is inside every good man, I believe. The rules about opening doors and buying dinner and all of that other ‘gentleman’ stuff is a chess game, especially these days.” –Anna Kendrick
43. “A gentleman attracts the attention of many, but only has eyes for his own lady.” –The Gentleman’s Guide
44. “I can make a lord, but only God can make a gentleman.” –King James I
45. “A gentleman offers a helping hand so others can fly.” –Unknown
A gentleman is like a leader and not a boss. That’s why he strives to bring out the best in others. At times, he goes out of his way to see others improve.
46. “Never let the influences of the modern world affect your morals or who you are.” –Unknown
47. “The greatest act of rebellion today is being a gentleman.” –Unknown
48. “A real gentleman will apologize after a fight, even if he’s not wrong.” –Unknown
Apologizing doesn’t make you small. Instead, it shows your greatness. When you apologize, you win the way to people’s hearts.
49. “A boy speaks. A gentleman acts.” –Unknown
50. “Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty, and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman.” –Thomas Henry Huxley
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51. “A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.” –Unknown
52. “Being a true gentleman never goes out of fashion.” –Unknown
53. “Being a gentleman is not about impressing women. It’s the pursuit to become a better man.” –Unknown
54. “A gentleman inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.” –Unknown
A gentleman helps others become their best version. He isn’t self-centered but wants everyone to progress and prosper.
55. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” –Plato
56. “The gentleman is dignified but not arrogant. The small man is arrogant but not dignified” –Confucius
57. “To reach your greatest potential, you’ll have to fight your greatest fear.” –Unknown
58. “Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” –Henri Bergson
59. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” –Confucius
Powerful Motivational Quotes
60. “Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” –Richard Carlson
Have you ever wondered what’s right while making a decision? This quote by Richard Carlson reminds you that kindness is always right. Your decisions can never be wrong if they are inspired by kindness towards other living beings.
61. “Kindness is a language which the deaf can even hear and the blind can see.” –Mark Twain.
62. “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” –Al Pacino
63. “A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.” –Winston Churchill
This quote by the former British Prime Minister is a real inspiration to become a gentleman. He urges you to stick to your goals and actions despite all obstacles.
64. “Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.” –Fyodor Dostoevsky
A gentleman doesn’t run after money. Instead he performs his duties towards society.
Note – That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for what you deserve.
65. “A real man ain’t a coward, he stands by what he says, admits his faults, and corrects his mistakes.” –Kiki Strack
This quote inspires you to stand by your words. A real gentleman isn’t afraid to admit his faults. He has the courage to accept his mistakes and rectify them.
66. “We sometimes meet an original gentleman, who, if manners had not existed, would have invented them.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
67. “A gentleman can see a question from all sides without bias. The small man is biased and can see a question only from one side.” –Confucius
The great Chinese philosopher regards that a gentleman is never biased. He is neutral and tries to see a situation from different perspectives.
68. “I was brought up to be a gentleman. That means you know how to walk, talk and dress the part.” –Brian McKnight
69. “What is a gentleman? It is to be honest, to be gentle, to be generous, to be brave, to be wise; and possessed of all these qualities to exercise them in the most graceful manner.” –William Makepeace Thackeray
70. “It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain.”–John Henry Newman
Cruelty and a gentleman can never go hand in hand. That’s because there is no greatness in inflicting pain upon other living beings. That’s why a gentleman is empathetic and kind towards everyone.
71. “A gentleman knows his actions carry more weight than any words spoken.” –Unknown
72. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” –Theodore Roosevelt
73. “Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.” –Giorgio Armani
74. “And though it is much to be a nobleman, it is more to be a gentleman.” –Unknown
75. “Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” –Arthur Ashe
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76. “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” –Desmond Tutu
Speaking louder doesn’t make you right. That’s why you need to improve your argument. If you have a strong argument, people will listen to you even when you speak softly.
77. “A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.” –Lana Turner
78. “Be well dressed, behave like a gentleman, and keep your shoes shined.” –Joseph Abboud
79. “A gentleman thinks before he speaks.” –Unknown
80. “Whether the gentleman is capable or not, he is loved all the same; conversely the petty man is loathed all the same.” –Xun Kuang
81. “Prayer gives a man the opportunity of getting to know a gentleman he hardly ever meets. I do not mean his maker, but himself.” –William Inge
82. “This is the final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.” –William Lyon Phelps
83. “Profaneness is a brutal vice. He who indulges in it is no gentleman.” –Edwin Hubbel Chapin
84. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” –Napoleon Hill
A gentleman doesn’t do grand things. He doesn’t spend lavishly or set grand goals. Instead, he does small things differently. That’s what sets him apart from the crowd.
85. “Hardship is the native soil of manhood and self-reliance.” –John Neal
86. “I’m a gentleman if nothing else. It’s taken me years to become one, but finally, I have a sense of propriety.” –Eric Stoltz
87. “The look of a gentleman is little else than the reflection of the looks of the world.” – William Hazlitt
88. “Good manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.” – Bill Kelly
89. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
A gentleman gives positive vibes. He doesn’t make people feel bad about themselves and the world. Instead, he fills them with positive energy. That’s why people love being around a gentleman.
90. “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” –Laurence Sterne
Deep Motivational Quotes
91. “A gentleman has his eyes on all those present; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absent.” –Lawrence G. Lovasik
92. “And though it is much to be a nobleman, it is more to be a gentleman.” –Anthony Trollope
93. “Gentlemen always walk ladies home.” –Gabriellyn Gidman
94. “Austen suggests that a gentleman is made, not born – and made only through a process of painful self-reflection and discovery.” –Emily Auerbach
95. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” –Winston Churchill
Being courageous is not always about raising your voice and speaking up. Sometimes, it is also about having the patience to listen to what others have to say.
96. “Don’t wait until you are ready to take action. Instead, take action to be ready.” –Jensen Siaw
97. “Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it improves its chances.” –B.J. Gupta
98. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” –Oscar Wilde
99. “Being a gentleman is a worthy goal.” –Orlando Bloom
You set several goals for yourself. Most of them may be materialistic. However, becoming a gentleman is a worthy goal. It will make people remember you.
100. “A gentleman is a man who can disagree without being disagreeable.” –Unknown
This quote for becoming a gentleman is perfect for the present times. That’s because we often lose friendships over small disagreements. But, disagreements don’t necessarily need to be rude and harsh.
You can disagree with someone by being gentle. There’s no need to be harsh and disrespectful.
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101. “Work until your signature becomes an autograph.” –Unknown
102. “A Gentleman is a prime example of what a man should be.” –Pontius Joseph
103. “A gentleman can live through anything.” –Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde reminds us that a gentleman has a lot of patience and resilience. He can withstand several hardships without losing his calm. And that makes him emerge victorious in every battle of life.
104. “Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.” –Aldous Huxley
105. “A gentleman is never in a hurry.” –Andre Maurois
A gentleman doesn’t rush things. That’s because he lives in the moment and tries to give his best in whatever he does.
106. Be a better man than you were yesterday.” –Unknown
Guess what’s the best way to become a gentleman. It’s by bettering yourself every day.
You don’t have to compete with anyone. Just be better than the person you were yesterday. And that will take you toward perfection.
107. “Be the type of man you’d want your daughter to be with.” –Unknown
Every father would want their daughter to be in good hands. If you strive to be that man, the world will become a much better place.
108. “Never let the influences of the modern world affect your morals or who you are.” –Unknown
109. “Being both soft and strong is a combination very few have mastered.” –Unknown
A true gentleman is both soft and strong depending on the situation. He knows when to show his strength and raise his voice. But he also becomes soft if the situation demands. In other words, a gentleman is not rigid but flexible.
110. “We sometimes meet an original gentleman, who, if manners had not existed, would have invented them.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
A true gentleman doesn’t need rules to make him a gentleman. He would set the rules for himself if there weren’t any.
That means a gentleman would still be kind, generous, and honest even if these were not treated as virtues.
111. “He whom we call a gentleman is no longer the man of Nature.” –Unknown
112. “It doesn’t matter how many A-levels you have, what kind of a degree you have, if you have good manners, people will like you.” –Kate Reardon
113. “If the gentleman has the ability, he is magnanimous, generous, tolerant, and straightforward, through which he opens the way to instruct others.” –Xunzi
114. “It is difficult to believe that a true gentleman will ever become a gamester, a libertine, or a sot.” –Chapin
115. “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”
“Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard.” –Edgar Allan Poe
117. “A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Saville Row suit.” –Ian Fleming
118. “The only infallible rule we know is, that the man who is always talking about being a gentleman never is one.” –Robert Smith Surtees
119. “Being a Gentleman, has more to do with hiding his flaws, than exhibiting the virtues!” –Ramana Pemmaraju
Motivational Quotes on Being a Gentleman
120. “Gentleman is a term which does not apply to any station, but to the mind and the feelings in every station.” –Talfourd
This quote reminds us that being a gentleman is not a destination. But it’s a journey. A gentleman knows how to behave everyday of his life. He doesn’t behave differently on special occasions.
121. “A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.” –William Hazlitt
122. “A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.” –Tom Waits
123. “The definition of a gentleman is a man who enters a revolving door in front of you and exits behind you.” –Chloe Thurlow
124. “To be noticed without striving to be noticed, this is what elegance is about.” –Luciano Barbera
125. “The flowering of civilization is the finished man—the man of sense, of grace, of accomplishment, of social power—the gentleman.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
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126. “Repose and cheerfulness are the badge of the gentleman—repose in energy.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
127. “Arrive as a king, leave as a legend, be remembered as a gentleman.” –Ankeet Patel
128. “Being a gentleman has nothing to do with the circumstances of one’s birth. Being a gentleman is something one learns.” –Harry Hart
Everyone is born equal. And no one is a gentleman by birth. That means you have to strive to achieve the qualities required to become one.
129. “A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.” –Confucius
A gentleman can do anything to keep his word. He knows that people won’t trust him again if he fails to stand by his words.
130. “If they respect you, respect them. If they disrespect you, still respect them.” –Mohamed Zeyara
This is a super inspiring quote if you want to become a gentleman. It urges you to respect your fellow humans in all circumstances – no matter whether they respect you or not.
131. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” –Epictetus
132. “You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.” –Tom Ford
A true gentleman always puts out his best version when he interacts with people. That means he doesn’t let his internal state affect his behavior and attitude toward others.
That means a gentleman is always kind and cheerful even if he is in a bad mental state. That’s why people love and respect him.
133. “Gentlemen respect the rights of others. They are honorable men.” –Ellen J Barrier
This inspiring quote to become a gentleman reminds you to respect the rights of every living being. A true gentleman doesn’t curb the rights of others for his freedom and enjoyment. Instead, he believes in peaceful coexistence.
134. “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” –Elbert Hubbard
Being strong doesn’t mean controlling and dominating others. It also doesn’t mean harming others. But the real strength lies in your gentleness. That’s why a gentleman is a man of strength.
135. “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” –Unknown
A gentleman is never afraid to bend down and help others. But someone who is too arrogant to bend down and help others can never be a gentleman.
136. “A real man can’t stand seeing his woman hurt. He’s careful with his decisions and actions, so he never has to be responsible for her pain.” –Unknown
137. “Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.” –Chuck Norris
138. “One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.” –Fyodor Dostoevsky
139. “A good man would prefer to be defeated than to defeat injustice by evil means.” –Sallust
This quote is an excellent reminder that a gentleman never takes the dishonest path. He would rather choose to accept defeat than to defeat evil by some dishonest means.
140. “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” –Thomas Paine
141. “A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself… But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.” –Elisabeth Elliot
142. “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” –Brandon Sanderson
143. “The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.” –John Dewey
This quote by John Dewey is an excellent reminder that you can always improve yourself . It doesn’t matter if you had a dark past. What matters is your desire to become a better version of yourself.
144. “It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks everything.” –Plutarch
A gentleman will choose the right path even if it is risky for him. In other words, nothing can stop him from doing what’s noble.
145. “Being a ‘good man’ is something you do, not something you are.” –Luvvie Ajayi
This quote inspires you to become a gentleman. That’s because it confirms that being a gentleman is not about your birth, race, sex, or religion. Rather, it’s about your deeds.
146. “There is nothing noble being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” –Ernest Hemingway
147. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” –Confucius
148. “A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others.” –Robert Green Ingersoll
149. “Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.” –Thorstein Veblen
This is a sarcastic quote which says that those who run after luxurious goods are gentlemen only for leisure. However, the real gentleman knows that these material things don’t have any value.
150. “That man will never be a perfect gentleman who lives only with gentlemen. To be a man of the world we must view that world in every grade and in every perspective.”
You are wrong if you think being with a gentleman will make you a gentleman. Rather a gentleman can mix freely with people from all walks of life.
151. “It’s not always easy, but keep pushing to be the best man—gentleman—that you can be, not just for your own well-being, but for a world that’s hopelessly in need of it.” –Khôi B Nguyễn
I hope that this extensive list of inspiring quotes on becoming a gentleman can motivate you to become a better man. After all, isn’t that the end game—to be better for all the people we hold dear in this life? And so, your journey toward greatness, awaits!
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But first, it always starts with taking the first steps. The real motivation has to come from within. But we promise that you can become a true gent when you aspire to make the world a better place to live in.
Which of these motivational gentleman quotes is your favorite?
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