gentilesse

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Old French gentilesce.

Noun[edit]

gentilesse

  1. (literary) Courtesy, refinement; gentleness.
    • 1870, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, [1]
      [] nor loved he less / Stately lords in palaces, / Princely women hard to please, / Fenced by form and ceremony, / Decked by courtly rites and dress / And etiquette of gentilesse.
    • 1913, Francis Thompson, "Love's Almsman Plaineth His Fare" in The Complete Poems of Francis Thompson, New York: Modern Library, no date, p. 252, [2]
      Who bound thee to a body nothing worth, / And shamed thee much with an unlovely soul, / That the most strainedst charity of earth / Distasteth soon to render back the whole / Of thine inflamèd sweets and gentilesse?
    • 1954, C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy, Collins, 1998, Chapter 15,
      [] in consideration of your youth and the ill nurture, devoid of all gentilesse and courtesy, which you have doubtless had in the land of slaves and tyrants, we are disposed to set you free, unharmed []

Middle English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Old French gentilesce.

Noun[edit]

gentilesse

  1. courtesy, nobility, gentility, honor
    • 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, Boece, edited by Richard Morris, London: Chaucer Society, 1886, Book 3, Metrum 6, p. 78, [3]
      For which þing it folweþ, þat yif þou ne haue no gentilesse of þi self, þat is to sein pris þat comeþ of þi deserte foreine gentilesse ne makeþ þe nat gentil.
  2. kindness, gentleness
  3. elegance