- kindly; amiable: a gentle manner.
- not severe, rough, or violent; mild: a gentle wind; a gentle tap on the shoulder.
- moderate: gentle heat.
- gradual: a gentle slope.
- of good birth or family; wellborn.
- characteristic of good birth; honorable; respectable: a gentle upbringing.
- easily handled or managed; tractable: a gentle animal.
- soft or low: a gentle sound.
- polite; refined: Consider, gentle reader, my terrible predicament at this juncture.
- entitled to a coat of arms; armigerous.
- Archaic. noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight.
- to tame; render tractable.
- to mollify; calm; pacify.
- to make gentle.
- to stroke; soothe by petting.
- to ennoble; dignify.
Origin of gentle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gently
“Gently rolling hills” roll not-so-gently under my tires, but the English countryside scenery is soporific.Biking With the Bard
December 28, 2014
Shake off any excess flour and gently place in the heated oil.Make Carla Hall’s Crispy Shallot Green Bean Casserole
December 27, 2014
Set a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the surface of the water.Carla Hall’s Christmas Day Treat: Rum Balls
December 25, 2014
His swimming led him back to meet the woman he had gently smiled at in the first episode.What On Earth Is ‘The Affair’ About? Season One’s Baffling Finale
December 22, 2014
The wording of the question, over which there was much haggling, gently favors a yes response.An Independent Scotland Will Hurt Labour
September 17, 2014
She arose, gently placed his arm on the couch, and looked upon his face.
They gently raised him, bolstered him with pillows, and told him he had long been ill.
Tibble saw that he was like one in another world, and gently led him away.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Aunt Jane approached a degree nearer the equator, and said, gently, "I fear I do."
"I wish it would," she said, gently, and then went on with her own thoughts while he was silent.
- having a mild or kindly nature or character
- soft or temperate; mild; moderatea gentle scolding
- graduala gentle slope
- easily controlled; tamea gentle horse
- archaic of good breeding; noblegentle blood
- archaic gallant; chivalrous
- to tame or subdue (a horse)
- to appease or mollify
- obsolete to ennoble or dignify
- a maggot, esp when used as bait in fishing
- archaic a person who is of good breeding
Word Origin and History for gently
early 13c., "well-born," from Old French gentil "high-born, noble, of good family" (11c., in Modern French "nice, graceful, pleasing; fine pretty"), from Latin gentilis "of the same family or clan," from gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan," from root of gignere "beget," from PIE root *gen- "produce" (see genus). Sense of "gracious, kind" (now obsolete) first recorded late 13c.; that of "mild, tender" is 1550s. Older sense remains in gentleman.