American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Refined in manner; well-bred and polite.
- adj. Free from vulgarity or rudeness.
- adj. Elegantly stylish: genteel manners and appearance.
- adj. Striving to convey a manner or appearance of refinement and respectability. See Synonyms at polite.
- adj. Marked by affected and somewhat prudish refinement.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Polite; well-bred; decorous in manners or behavior; refined: as, genteel company.
- Adapted to, suitable for, or characteristic of polite society; free from vulgarity or meanness in appearance, quality, amount, etc.; elegant; becoming; adequate: as, genteel manners; a genteel address; genteel comedy; a genteel income or allowance.
- Fashionable; stylish; à la mode.
- Synonyms Genteel, Polite, well-mannered, polished. Genteel refers to the outward chiefly; polite to the outward as an expression of inward refinement and kindness. Genteel has latterly tended to express a somewhat fastidious pride of refinement, family position, and the like. Genteel is often largely negative, meaning free from what is low, vulgar, or connected with the uncultivated classes; polite is positive and active, meaning that one acts in a certain way. Polite has, however, a passive meaning, that of ‘polished’: as, polite society, polite literature. See polite.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Possessing or exhibiting the qualities popularly regarded as belonging to high birth and breeding; free from vulgarity, or lowness of taste or behavior; adapted to a refined or cultivated taste; polite; well-bred.
- adj. Graceful in mien or form; elegant in appearance, dress, or manner.
- adj. Suited to the position of lady or a gentleman.
- adj. marked by refinement in taste and manners
- From French gentil (Wiktionary)
- French gentil, from Old French; see gentle. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Her cousins made game of what they called her genteel visitor.”
“The Haitian tragedy has opened up a whole new industry for what I call the genteel racist point of view.”
“This was the phrase genteel officials at the school used to explain to the very proper and very perturbed parents of India’s towheaded classmates why a white, British woman and her Welsh husband had a half-black child.”
“He and his mother lived in genteel poverty as the wards of a prosperous (if somewhat tightfisted) uncle.”
“HPL lived and died in genteel poverty, and some biographers have suggested that poor diet brought on by poverty may have hastened his death.”
“And its politics have always had a certain genteel character -- with each Election Day followed by Return Day, a public festival of reconciliation culminated by a parade honoring the winners and losers together.”
“Visiting Darragh gave us a glimpse of a vanishing bohemian East End of artists and writers living in genteel disarray.”
“On the other hand, with Frank Ruff opining that ‘Southern’ sounds more genteel than ‘Southside’, one has to wonder if genteel is what we want to go with.”
“One can only assume that some mild hint of unease blowing up from Greenwich, or down from Southwold (where Orwell's parents lived in genteel retirement), had appealed to his considerable sense of melodrama.”
“The area is home to several renowned lodges where one can chase gobblers in genteel southern luxury.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘genteel’.
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