- belonging or suited to polite society.
- well-bred or refined; polite; elegant; stylish.
- affectedly or pretentiously polite, delicate, etc.
Origin of genteel
Examples from the Web for genteelly
Historical Examples of genteelly
It is the most difficult of all languages to be wicked in—genteelly wicked, at least.Dust
It's the only one I've got, but I'm goin' to spend it 'spectably and genteelly.Grif
B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
"Poor old Spot," she murmured, disengaging her lips from a cobweb as genteelly as possible.Rich Relatives
He was genteelly dressed in black, and perfect composure marked his countenance and manner.
Six of the hats, says the quaint contemporary account, were laced with gold,—all of these prisoners having been genteelly dressed.Haunted London
- affectedly proper or refined; excessively polite
- respectable, polite, and well-breda genteel old lady
- appropriate to polite or fashionable societygenteel behaviour
Word Origin 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).