I. adjective (gentler; gentlest) Etymology: Middle English gentil, from Anglo-French, from Latin gentilis of a gens, of one's family, from gent-, gens gens, nation; akin to Latin gignere to beget — more at kin Date: 13th century 1. a. belonging to a family of high social station b. archaic chivalrous c. honorable, distinguished; specifically of or relating to a gentleman d. kind, amiable — used especially in address as a complimentary epithet <
gentle reader
e. suited to a person of high social station 2. a. tractable, docile b. free from harshness, sternness, or violence 3. soft, delicate 4. moderategently adverb II. noun Date: 14th century a person of gentle birth or status III. verb (gentled; gentling) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to raise from the commonalty ; ennoble 2. a. to make gentler b. to make (an animal) tame and docile c. mollify, placate d. to stroke soothingly ; pet intransitive verb to become gentle <
the wind gentled

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gentle — Gen tle, a. [Compar. {Gentler}; superl. {Gentlest}.] [OE. gentil, F. gentil noble, pretty, graceful, fr. L. gentilis of the same clan or race, fr. gens, gentis, tribe, clan, race, orig. that which belongs together by birth, fr. the root of genere …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gentle — [jent′ l] adj. gentler, gentlest [ME gentil < OFr, of noble birth < L gentilis, of the same gens (in LL, of a good family) < gens: see GENS] 1. belonging to the upper classes or polite society 2. like or suitable to polite society;… …   English World dictionary

  • gentle — The phrase the gentle art, which was used with clever irony by the American painter James McNeill Whistler in his title The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (1890), had already become a cliché by the time Fowler wrote (1926). As well as being used… …   Modern English usage

  • gentle — [adj1] having a mild or kind nature affable, agreeable, amiable, benign, biddable, bland, compassionate, considerate, cool*, cultivated, disciplined, docile, domesticated, dovelike*, easy, genial, humane, kindly, laid back*, lenient, manageable,… …   New thesaurus

  • Gentle — Gent le, v. t. 1. To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To make smooth, cozy, or agreeable. [R. or Poet.] [1913 Webster] To gentle life s descent, We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain. Young.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gentle — may refer to: *Gentleness *Gentleman *Gentle (comics) …   Wikipedia

  • Gentle — Gen tle, n. 1. One well born; a gentleman. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Gentles, methinks you frown. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A trained falcon. See {Falcon gentil}. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zo[ o]l.) A dipterous larva used as fish bait. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gentle — index harmless, lenient, nonmilitant, peaceable, placid Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • gentle — (adj.) early 13c., well born, from O.Fr. gentil high born, noble, of good family (11c., in Modern French nice, graceful, pleasing; fine pretty ), from L. gentilis of the same family or clan, from gens (gen. gentis) race, clan, from root of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • gentle — *soft, mild, smooth, lenient, bland, balmy Analogous words: *moderate, temperate: *pleasant, agreeable, grateful, pleasing, welcome: *calm, tranquil, serene, placid, peaceful, halcyon Antonyms: rough, harsh Contrasted words: vehement, intense,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • gentle — ► ADJECTIVE (gentler, gentlest) 1) mild or kind; not rough or violent. 2) not harsh or severe. 3) archaic noble or courteous. DERIVATIVES gentleness noun gently adverb …   English terms dictionary

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