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

  • n. One who is not of the Jewish faith or is of a non-Jewish nation.
  • n. A Christian.
  • n. Archaic A pagan or heathen.
  • n. Mormon Church A non-Mormon.
  • adj. Of or relating to a Gentile.
  • adj. Of or relating to a gens, tribe, or people.
  • adj. Grammar Expressing national or local origins.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. non-Jewish
  • adj. non-Mormon (including Jews)
  • adj. heathen, pagan
  • adj. tribal, national
  • adj. of or pertaining to gens or gentes
  • n. A non-Jewish person.
  • n. A non-Mormon person (including Jews).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Belonging to the nations at large, as distinguished from the Jews; ethnic; of pagan or heathen people.
  • adj. Denoting a race or country.
  • n. One neither a Jew nor a Christian; a worshiper of false gods; a heathen.
  • n. A person who is not Jewish; -- used in this sense by Jews.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or belonging to a gens or clan; of the same clan or family.
  • (in this sense only jen′ tīl). In Scripture, belonging to a non-Jewish nation; pertaining to a heathen people: in the United States, applied by the Mormons to persons not of their church.
  • In grammar, expressing nationality, local extraction, or place of abode; describing or designating a person as belonging to a certain race, country, district, town, or locality by birth or otherwise: as, a gentile noun (as Greek, Arab, Englishman, etc.); a gentile adjective (as Florentine, Spanish, etc.).
  • Worthy of a gentleman; genteel; honorable. See genteel, gentle.
  • Synonyms See gentile, n.
  • n. A member of a gens or clan.
  • n. (jen′ tīl). In Scripture, one belonging to a non-Jewish nation; any person not a Jew; a heathen; sometimes, in later writings, one who is neither a Jew nor a Christian.
  • n. (jen′ tīl). Among the Mormons, one who is not of their church.
  • n. In grammar, a noun or an adjective derived from the name of a country or locality, and designating its natives or people: as, the words Italian, American, Athenian, are gentiles.

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

  • adj. belonging to or characteristic of non-Jewish peoples
  • n. a person who is not a member of one's own religion; used in this sense by Mormons and Hindus
  • n. a Christian
  • n. a person who does not acknowledge your god
  • n. a Christian as contrasted with a Jew


Middle English gentil, from Late Latin gentīlis, pagan, from Latin, of the same clan; see gentle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin gentīlis ("pagan, foreign"), from gēns ("clan, tribe") + adjective suffix -ilis. See also gens, gender, genus, generation. (Wiktionary)



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