gentility

[jen-til-i-tee]
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noun
  1. good breeding or refinement.
  2. affected or pretentious politeness or elegance.
  3. the status of belonging to polite society.
  4. 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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for gentility

gentility

noun plural -ties
  1. respectability and polite good breeding
  2. affected politeness
  3. noble birth or ancestry
  4. 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
n.

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