Definitions

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

  • adjective Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.
  • adjective Not harsh or severe; mild and soft.
  • adjective Easily managed or handled; docile.
  • adjective Not steep or sudden; gradual.
  • adjective Of good family; wellborn.
  • adjective Suited to one of good breeding; refined and polite.
  • adjective Archaic Noble; chivalrous.
  • noun One of good birth or relatively high station.
  • transitive verb To make less severe or intense.
  • transitive verb To soothe, as by stroking; pacify.
  • transitive verb To tame or break (a horse).
  • transitive verb Obsolete To raise to the status of a noble.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A person of good family; a person of gentle birth; a gentleman.
  • noun In falconry, a falcon-gentle; a trained hawk: whence one of the names of the common goshawk of Europe, Falco gentilis.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

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

  • adjective Tender and amiable; of a considerate or kindly disposition
  • adjective Soft and mild rather than hard or severe
  • adjective Docile and easily managed
  • adjective Gradual rather than steep or sudden
  • adjective Polite and respectful rather than rude
  • verb intransitive to become gentle
  • verb transitive to ennoble
  • verb transitive, animal husbandry to break; to tame; to domesticate
  • verb transitive To soothe; to calm.
  • noun archaic A person of high birth.
  • noun archaic A maggot used as bait by anglers

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

  • adjective having little impact

Etymologies

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

[Middle English gentil, courteous, noble, from Old French, from Latin gentīlis, of the same clan, from gēns, gent-, clan; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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")

Examples

Comments

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  • Maggots!

    June 8, 2014