Definitions

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

  • n. Archaic Refinement and courtesy resulting from good breeding.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Gentleness; courtesy; kindness; nobility.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Gentle birth; character or manners of a person of gentle birth; courtesy; complaisance; delicacy.

Etymologies

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

Examples

  • Emerson was very fond of the passage on "gentilesse" in Chaucer's _Wife of Bath's

    Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Axe congeed Modanis, then went to dark dragon, as gentilesse when face to Axe.

    Mini Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • His wife Françoise was the most beautiful and accomplished woman of her time, the "perle de noblesse, de gentilesse, et de savoir;" and moreover possessed of the rich inheritance of her uncle Bertrand de Dinan, of the

    Brittany & Its Byways

  • This little gentilesse pleased, and atoned for the popery of my house, which was not serious enough for Madame de Boufflers, who is Montmorency, et du sang du premier Chretien; and too serious for Madame Dusson, who is a Dutch Calvinist.

    Letters of Horace Walpole 01

  • Dear heart, thought I, but where were their eyes, both twain, that they saw not the lovesomeness and gentilesse of that my gallant _Protection_?

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest The Annals of Selwick Hall

  • _Gentility_ is mean, and _gentilesse_ [378] is obsolete.

    Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The "Cours d'Amour, parlemens d'amour, ou de courtoisie et de gentilesse" had much more of love than of courtesy or gentleness.

    The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 2

  • This little gentilesse pleased, and atoned for the popery of my house, which was not serious enough for Madame de Boufflers, who is Montmorency, et du sang du premier Chritien; and too serious for Madame Dusson, who is a Dutch Calvinist.

    The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3

  • An, then, thou say that I have committed myself with a man of mean condition, thou sayst not sooth; but shouldst thou say with a poor man, it might peradventure be conceded thee, to thy shame who hast so ill known to put a servant of thine and a man of worth in good case; yet poverty bereaveth not any of gentilesse; nay, rather, wealth it is that doth this.

    The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

  • Thou hast drawn all the thread out of my shift with thy gentilesse; thou hast tickled my heart with thy rebeck.

    The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

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