Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person who is not Jewish.
  • noun Archaic A pagan or heathen.
  • noun Mormon Church A non-Mormon.
  • adjective Of or relating to a gentile.
  • adjective Of or relating to a gens, tribe, or people.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A member of a gens or clan.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (jen′ tīl). Among the Mormons, one who is not of their church.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English gentil, from Late Latin gentīlis, pagan, from Latin, of the same clan; see gentle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin gentīlis ("pagan, foreign"), from gēns ("clan, tribe") + adjective suffix -ilis. See also gens, gender, genus, generation.

Examples

  • CAROLYN JESSOP: I was taught as a child that anyone who was not a member of the work of God was what we called a gentile, or if they had left the work of God, they ` re an apostate, and we looked at them as agents of the devil who wanted to destroy us because we were God ` s children.

    CNN Transcript Apr 23, 2008

  • It's frankly hard not to see some residual antisemitism in gentile reactions to what's portrayed as Jewish exceptionalism.

    Is That Legal?: Dean Esmay and the Revisionist Reconstruction of a Coerced Germany

  • But regarding your son's son who is born from a gentile woman the pasuk does not say "your" because he is considered her son, that is, the gentile woman's son and therefore the child is not Jewish.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • In other words, unless you want to argue that what you are calling gentile-centrism is an entirely distinct phenomenon, that the difference between that and anti-Semitism is one of kind, not degree, why make the distinction at all?

    More on Chomsky and Anti-Semitism

  • It does mean that he is completely blind to the notion of gentile privilege, is completely disinterested in viewing things from a Jewish perspective or taking our voice and experience seriously as something as valuable, and views it as an affront if anyone calls him on it or attempts to inform him that his views are not unimpeachable on the subject.

    The Debate Link

  • Writers of this era [...] described the native as a robust youth with "gentile" characteristics, a kind of Jewish muzhik, or Russian peasant -- strapping, self-confident, and strong-spirited, as opposed to the stereotypical Diaspora Jew, who was pale, servile, and cowardly.

    David Shasha: What Israel Means to Me

  • Writers of this era [...] described the native as a robust youth with "gentile" characteristics, a kind of Jewish muzhik, or Russian peasant -- strapping, self-confident, and strong-spirited, as opposed to the stereotypical Diaspora Jew, who was pale, servile, and cowardly.

    David Shasha: What Israel Means to Me

  • Writers of this era [...] described the native as a robust youth with "gentile" characteristics, a kind of Jewish muzhik, or Russian peasant -- strapping, self-confident, and strong-spirited, as opposed to the stereotypical Diaspora Jew, who was pale, servile, and cowardly.

    David Shasha: What Israel Means to Me

  • Why then, Trumpeldor, did you not use either 'gentile' or 'non-Jewish' to express your meaning?

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Although the majority of them have converted to Christianity, there are still some "gentile" groups who have refused baptism.

    Ojo Del Lago - The Tarahumaras: And Endangered Species

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