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From Middle English gentilly, gentlych, gentilliche, equivalent to gentle +‎ -ly, with *-lely simplified to -ly by haplology.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdʒɛntli/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: gen‧tly


gently (comparative gentlier or more gently, superlative gentliest or most gently)

  1. In a gentle manner.
    • 1968, George Harrison (lyrics and music), “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, performed by The Beatles:
      I look at the world, and I notice it's turning / While my guitar gently weeps / With every mistake, we must surely be learning / Still my guitar gently weeps
    • 2012 May 8, Yotam Ottolenghi; Sami Tamimi, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook[1], Random House, →ISBN, page 79:
      First, marinate the tofu. In a bowl, whisk the kecap manis, chilli sauce, and sesame oil together. Cut the tofu into strips about 1cm thick, mix gently (so it doesn't break) with the marinade and leave in the fridge for half an hour.