View synonyms for gentle


[ jen-tl ]


, gen·tler, gen·tlest.
  1. kindly; amiable:

    a gentle manner.

    Synonyms: merciful, lenient, humane, tender, soothing, pacific, peaceful, clement

    Antonyms: cruel, harsh

  2. not severe, rough, or violent; mild:

    a gentle wind;

    a gentle tap on the shoulder.

    Antonyms: sudden, violent

  3. moderate:

    gentle heat.

    Synonyms: temperate

  4. gradual:

    a gentle slope.

  5. of good birth or family; wellborn.

    Synonyms: noble

  6. characteristic of good birth; honorable; respectable:

    a gentle upbringing.

  7. easily handled or managed; tractable:

    a gentle animal.

    Synonyms: tame, docile, manageable

    Antonyms: unruly, wild

  8. soft or low:

    a gentle sound.

  9. polite; refined:

    Consider, gentle reader, my terrible predicament at this juncture.

    Synonyms: polished, courteous

  10. entitled to a coat of arms; armigerous.
  11. Archaic. noble; chivalrous:

    a gentle knight.

verb (used with object)

, gen·tled, gen·tling.
  1. to tame; render tractable.
  2. to mollify; calm; pacify.
  3. to make gentle.
  4. to stroke; soothe by petting.
  5. to ennoble; dignify.


/ ˈdʒɛntəl /


  1. having a mild or kindly nature or character
  2. soft or temperate; mild; moderate

    a gentle scolding

  3. gradual

    a gentle slope

  4. easily controlled; tame

    a gentle horse

  5. archaic.
    of good breeding; noble

    gentle blood

  6. archaic.
    gallant; chivalrous


  1. to tame or subdue (a horse)
  2. to appease or mollify
  3. obsolete.
    to ennoble or dignify


  1. a maggot, esp when used as bait in fishing
  2. archaic.
    a person who is of good breeding

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgently, adverb

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Other Words From

  • gen·tle·ness noun
  • gen·tly adverb
  • o·ver·gen·tle adjective
  • un·gen·tle adjective
  • un·gen·tle·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of gentle1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English gentle, gentil(e), from Old French gentil “highborn, noble,” from Latin gentīlis “belonging to the same family,” equivalent to gent- (stem of gēns ) gens + -īlis -le

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Word History and Origins

Origin of gentle1

C13: from Old French gentil noble, from Latin gentīlis belonging to the same family; see gens

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Synonym Study

Gentle, meek, mild refer to an absence of bad temper or belligerence. Gentle has reference especially to disposition and behavior, and often suggests a deliberate or voluntary kindness or forbearance in dealing with others: a gentle pat; gentle with children. Meek implies a submissive spirit, and may even indicate undue submission in the face of insult or injustice: meek and even servile or weak. Mild suggests absence of harshness or severity, rather because of natural character or temperament than conscious choice: a mild rebuke; a mild manner.

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Example Sentences

Our spacious villa looked directly onto the gentle curve of Polo Beach.

Afterward, you can expect to wash the blanket on your machine’s delicate settings with a gentle detergent.

Be sure to wash your heated vest with cool water with the machine’s gentle setting.

Gorilla Glue told TMZ that rubbing alcohol, a gentle combing and a delicate shampoo would likely be the best solution for Brown.

That gentle evolution gives astronomers a unique opportunity to use TRAPPIST-1 and TOI-178 as testbeds for planetary theory.

But he was always uncommonly gracious, a truly gentle man, willing to dispense wisdom and perspective when asked.

She is incapable of responding to kindness and enquiry, even very gentle flirting on the part of a co-worker.

The only justice sought by those folks involved a conviction against Wilson for killing the “gentle giant” teen.

They act silly, and for a moment we see how gentle and innocent they are.

I thought he was very intelligent, very gentle, soft-spoken, precise.

He turned to the gentle accents of his sweet Alice, breathed in a letter which had been wet with her grateful tears.

The action was at first a little confusing to Edna, but she soon lent herself readily to the Creole's gentle caress.

He reached down inside my shirt, with a none too gentle hand, and relieved me of the belt that held the money.

Are you quite sure you have never suffered from this rather common disorder, gentle reader, at least, if you be of the male sex?

And it might be a good idea for you to give your men a gentle hint to keep their mouths closed about this affair—all of it.





gentisic acidgentle breeze