[ jen-til-i-tee ]
/ dʒɛnˈtɪl ɪ ti /


good breeding or refinement.
affected or pretentious politeness or elegance.
the status of belonging to polite society.
members of polite society collectively.

Origin of gentility

1300–50; Middle English < Old French gentilite < Latin gentīlitāt- (stem of gentīlitās), equivalent to gentīl(is) (see gentle) + -itāt- -ity
Related formsun·gen·til·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gentility

British Dictionary definitions for gentility


/ (dʒɛnˈtɪlɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

respectability and polite good breeding
affected politeness
noble birth or ancestry
people of noble birth

Word Origin for gentility

C14: from Old French gentilite, from Latin gentīlitās relationship of those belonging to the same tribe or family; see gens
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gentility



mid-14c., "gentle birth," from Old French gentilité (14c.) or directly from Latin gentilitatem (nominative gentilitas) "relationship in the same family or clan," from gentilis (see gentle). Meaning "state of being gentile" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper