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See also: Gentle

Contents

EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

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)

PronunciationEdit

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

AdjectiveEdit

gentle (comparative gentler or more gentle, superlative gentlest or most gentle)

  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, in 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

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

VerbEdit

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

  1. (intransitive) to become gentle
    • 2013, Kathryn L.M. Reynolds, Garland Roses, Kathryn L.M. Reynolds (→ISBN), page 226
      “She's experienced a horrific and nasty scare and is in a state of shock, but otherwise she's relatively okay.” Conrad replied, his tone at first grim (as he recalled what he'd seen in the family room) and then it gentled to a more doctorial tone as he directed his next comments to his patient.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) to ennoble
    • c. 1599, Henry V, by Shakespeare, Act IV Scene III
      […] For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, / This day shall gentle his condition […]
  3. (transitive, animal husbandry) to break; to tame; to domesticate
    • 2008, Frank Leslie, The Killing Breed, Penguin (→ISBN)
      Yakima could have tried to catch him, gentle him as Wolf had been gentled, but having two stallions in his cavvy would lead to a different kind of trouble.
  4. (transitive) To soothe; to calm; to make gentle.
    • 1996, William C. Loring, An American Romantic-realist Abroad: Templeton Strong and His Music, Scarecrow Press (→ISBN), page 201
      A hornist, his playing gentled by perspective, is out of sight within the woods, but his notes are heard through or over the murmuring mix of bird song and breeze in leaves.

NounEdit

gentle (plural gentles)

  1. (archaic) A person of high birth.
    • Shakespeare
      Gentles, methinks you frown.
  2. (archaic) A maggot used as bait by anglers (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. A trained falcon, or falcon-gentil.