Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Polite and well-mannered.
  • adj. Stylish or elegant.
  • adj. Aristocratic

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. Law.
  • adj. Suited to the position of lady or a gentleman.

from The 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.

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

  • adj. marked by refinement in taste and manners

Etymologies

French gentil, from Old French; see gentle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French gentil (Wiktionary)

Examples

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