Definitions

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

  • adj. Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.
  • adj. Not harsh or severe; mild and soft: a gentle scolding; a gentle tapping at the window.
  • adj. Easily managed or handled; docile: a gentle horse.
  • adj. Not steep or sudden; gradual: a gentle incline.
  • adj. Of good family; wellborn: a child of gentle birth.
  • adj. Suited to one of good breeding; refined and polite: a gentle greeting to a stranger.
  • adj. Archaic Noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight.
  • n. Archaic One of good birth or relatively high station.
  • transitive v. To make less severe or intense: The peaceful sunset gentled her dreadful mood.
  • transitive v. To soothe, as by stroking; pacify.
  • transitive v. To tame or break (a domestic animal, for instance): gentle a horse.
  • transitive v. To raise to the status of a noble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tender and amiable; of a considerate or kindly disposition
  • adj. Soft and mild rather than hard or severe
  • adj. Docile and easily managed
  • adj. Gradual rather than steep or sudden
  • adj. Polite and respectful rather than rude
  • v. to become gentle
  • v. to ennoble
  • v. to break; to tame; to domesticate
  • v. To soothe; to calm.
  • n. A person of high birth.
  • n. A maggot used as bait by anglers

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.
  • adj. Quiet and refined in manners; not rough, harsh, or stern; mild; meek; bland; amiable; tender
  • adj. A compellative of respect, consideration, or conciliation.
  • adj. Not wild, turbulent, or refractory; quiet and docile; tame; peaceable.
  • adj. Soft; not violent or rough; not strong, loud, or disturbing; easy; soothing; pacific.
  • n. One well born; a gentleman.
  • n. A trained falcon. See Falcon-gentil.
  • n. A dipterous larva used as fish bait.
  • transitive v. To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble.
  • transitive v. To make smooth, cozy, or agreeable.
  • transitive v. To make kind and docile, as a horse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of good birth or family; well-born; specifically, belonging to the gentry as distinguished from the nobility: as, the studies of noble and gentle youth.
  • Pertaining to or characteristic of good birth or station; honorable; respectable; refined.
  • Of well-bred character or quality; gracious; courteous; kindly and considerate; not rough or harsh; mild; soothing: as, a gentle nurse; a gentle nature, manner, voice.
  • Tame; docile; tractable; peaceable; not wild or refractory: as, a gentle horse or hawk.
  • Improved by cultivation; ameliorated; domesticated.
  • Soft; mild in action, performance, or use; not rude or boisterous: as, a gentle breeze; a gentle tap; a gentle tone.
  • Refreshing; reviving.
  • Gradual; easy; not steep; moderate in degree; not sharply defined: as, a gentle slope; the gentle curves of a river or a figure.
  • n. A person of good family; a person of gentle birth; a gentleman.
  • n. In falconry, a falcon-gentle; a trained hawk: whence one of the names of the common goshawk of Europe, Falco gentilis.
  • n. A maggot or larva of the flesh-fly, used in fishing.
  • To make or constitute gentle, or as if gentle; place in the rank of gentlemen; raise from a vulgar or ignoble condition.
  • To make gentle in manner or appearance; render mild and amiable; soften; subdue: as, to gentle a colt.

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

  • adj. having little impact
  • adj. having or showing a kindly or tender nature
  • adj. quiet and soothing
  • adj. easily handled or managed
  • adj. soft and mild; not harsh or stern or severe
  • v. cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of
  • v. give a title to someone; make someone a member of the nobility
  • adj. belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy
  • v. stroke soothingly
  • adj. marked by moderate steepness

Etymologies

Middle English gentil, courteous, noble, from Old French, from Latin gentīlis, of the same clan, from gēns, gent-, clan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gentil ("courteous, noble"), from Old French gentil ("high-born, noble"), from Latin gentilis ("of the same family or clan"), from gens ("[Roman] clan") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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