Origin of genteel
Examples from the Web for genteel
These nonchalant brutalities seem at first at odds with the genteel decorum that mostly cloaks late-19th century culture.
This racial balancing act makes Belle one of the most genteel yet uncomfortable depictions of racism ever to grace the screen.Can ‘Belle’ End Hollywood’s Obsession with the White Savior?|Keli Goff|May 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Daily Pic: Steve Mumford's genteel watercolors capture the hard truths of Gitmo.
Mischievous, more bite than bark in the sense that it was mordant with minimal rhetoric, Heaney was not genteel.
Bennett is genteel, an elite solider, someone who is as comfortable with secularism as he is with his religiosity.
He contentedly takes his place in a world that does not pretend to be genteel—a laughing, working, jeering world.The Defendant|G.K. Chesterton
The cottage at the caves is not particularly "genteel" in appearance.The Jenolan Caves|Samuel Cook
She used to dress up like a queen, and her Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes were the genuine things and genteel all over.
If they were not the roses, they lived near the roses, as it were, and had a good deal of the odor of genteel life.A History of Pendennis, Volume 1|William Makepeace Thackeray
Like a genteel apparition she stole away, leaving Ulick in a doleful mood.Painted Veils|James Huneker
British Dictionary definitions for genteel
Word Origin for genteel
Word Origin and History for genteel
1590s, from Middle French gentil "stylish, fashionable, elegant; nice, graceful, pleasing," from Old French gentil "high-born, noble" (11c.); a reborrowing of the French word that had early come into English as gentle (q.v.), with French pronunciation and stress preserved to emphasize the distinction. Cf. also jaunty; gentile. OED 2nd ed. reports genteel "is now used, except by the ignorant, only in mockery" (a development it dates from the 1840s).