Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The male head of a household.
  • noun A husband.
  • noun Used formerly as a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble birth.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The man of the house; master; husband; head of a family.
  • noun A familiar appellation of civility; a term of respect, frequently used to or of a person before his surname: nearly equivalent to Mr. or sometimes to gaffer. It was sometimes used ironically.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A familiar appellation of civility, equivalent to “My friend”, “Good sir”, “Mister;” -- sometimes used ironically.
  • noun Archaic A husband; the master of a house or family; -- often used in speaking familiarly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic or dialectal A familiar appellation of civility.
  • noun archaic or dialectal A husband; the master of a house or family.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun United States clarinetist who in 1934 formed a big band (including black as well as white musicians) and introduced a kind of jazz known as swing (1909-1986)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English godeman, equivalent to good +‎ man.

Examples

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