gentle

[ jen-tl ]
/ ˈdʒɛn tl /

adjective, gen·tler, gen·tlest.

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


Nearby words

  1. gentilesse,
  2. gentilism,
  3. gentility,
  4. gentisate,
  5. gentisic acid,
  6. gentle breeze,
  7. gentle craft,
  8. gentle sex,
  9. gentlefolk,
  10. gentleman

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