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PIE root

From Middle English gentil ‎(courteous, noble), from Old French gentil ‎(high-born, noble), from Latin gentilis ‎(of the same family or clan), from gens ‎([Roman] clan)


  • IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɛntl̩/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: gen‧tle


gentle ‎(comparative gentler, superlative gentlest)

  1. Tender and amiable; of a considerate or kindly disposition.
    Stuart is a gentle man; he would never hurt you.
  2. Soft and mild rather than hard or severe.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, The China Governess[1]:
      Here the stripped panelling was warmly gold and the pictures, mostly of the English school, were mellow and gentle in the afternoon light.
    I felt something touch my shoulder; it was gentle and a little slimy.
  3. Docile and easily managed.
    We had a gentle swim in the lake.
    a gentle horse
  4. Gradual rather than steep or sudden.
    The walks in this area have a gentle incline.
  5. Polite and respectful rather than rude.
    He gave me a gentle reminder that we had to hurry up.
  6. (archaic) Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.
    • Johnson's Cyc.
      British society is divided into nobility, gentry, and yeomanry, and families are either noble, gentle, or simple.
    • Milton
      the studies wherein our noble and gentle youth ought to bestow their time



Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


gentle ‎(third-person singular simple present gentles, present participle gentling, simple past and past participle gentled)

  1. (intransitive) to become gentle
  2. (transitive) to ennoble
  3. (transitive, animal husbandry) to break; to tame; to domesticate
  4. (transitive) To soothe; to calm.


gentle ‎(plural gentles)

  1. (archaic) A person of high birth.
    • Shakespeare
      Gentles, methinks you frown.
  2. (archaic) A maggot used as bait by anglers
  3. A trained falcon, or falcon-gentil.