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.
Emerson was very fond of the passage on "gentilesse" in Chaucer's _Wife of Bath's
Axe congeed Modanis, then went to dark dragon, as gentilesse when face to Axe.
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
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.
Dear heart, thought I, but where were their eyes, both twain, that they saw not the lovesomeness and gentilesse of that my gallant _Protection_?
_Gentility_ is mean, and _gentilesse_  is obsolete.
The "Cours d'Amour, parlemens d'amour, ou de courtoisie et de gentilesse" had much more of love than of courtesy or gentleness.
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.
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.
Thou hast drawn all the thread out of my shift with thy gentilesse; thou hast tickled my heart with thy rebeck.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.