gentle

[ jen-tl ]
/ ˈdʒɛn tl /

adjective, gen·tler, gen·tlest.

verb (used with object), gen·tled, gen·tling.

Origin of gentle

1175–1225; Middle English gentle, gentil(e) < Old French gentil highborn, noble < Latin gentīlis belonging to the same family, equivalent to gent- (stem of gēns) gens + -īlis -le
SYNONYMS FOR gentle
1 clement, peaceful, pacific, soothing; tender, humane, lenient, merciful. 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.
3 temperate.
5 noble.
7 manageable, docile, tame, quiet.
9 courteous; polished.
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gentle

British Dictionary definitions for gentle

gentle

/ (ˈdʒɛntəl) /

adjective

verb (tr)

noun

a maggot, esp when used as bait in fishing
archaic a person who is of good breeding
Derived Formsgently, adverb

Word Origin for gentle

C13: from Old French gentil noble, from Latin gentīlis belonging to the same 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 gentle

gentle


adj.

early 13c., "well-born," from Old French gentil "high-born, noble, of good family" (11c., in Modern French "nice, graceful, pleasing; fine pretty"), from Latin gentilis "of the same family or clan," from gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan," from root of gignere "beget," from PIE root *gen- "produce" (see genus). Sense of "gracious, kind" (now obsolete) first recorded late 13c.; that of "mild, tender" is 1550s. Older sense remains in gentleman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper