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Webster 1913 Edition


Gentle

Gen′tle

,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Gentler
;
sup
erl.
Gentlest
.]
[OE.
gentil
, F.
gentil
noble, pretty, graceful, fr. L.
gentilis
of the same clan or race, fr.
gens
,
gentis
, tribe, clan, race, orig. that which belongs together by birth, fr. the root of
genere
,
gignere
, to beget; hence
gentle
, properly, of birth or family, that is, of good or noble birth. See
Gender
, and cf.
Genteel
,
Gentil
,
Gentile
,
Gentoo
,
Jaunty
.]
1.
Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.
British society is divided into nobility, gentry, and yeomanry, and families are either noble,
gentle
, or simple.
Johnson’s Cyc.
The studies wherein our noble and
gentle
youth ought to bestow their time.
Milton.
2.
Quiet and refined in manners; not rough, harsh, or stern; mild; meek; bland; amiable; tender;
as, a
gentle
nature, temper, or disposition; a
gentle
manner; a
gentle
address; a
gentle
voice.
3.
A compellative of respect, consideration, or conciliation;
as,
gentle
reader
.
Gentle sirs.” “Gentle Jew.” “Gentle servant.”
Shak.
4.
Not wild, turbulent, or refractory; quiet and docile; tame; peaceable;
as, a
gentle
horse
.
5.
Soft; not violent or rough; not strong, loud, or disturbing; easy; soothing; pacific;
as, a
gentle
touch; a
gentle
gallop
.
Gentle music.”
Sir J. Davies.
O sleep! it is a
gentle
thing.
Coleridge.
Syn. – Mild; meek; placid; dovelike; quiet; peaceful; pacific; bland; soft; tame; tractable; docile.
Gentle
,
Tame
,
Mild
,
Meek
. Gentle describes the natural disposition; tame, that which is subdued by training; mild implies a temper which is, by nature, not easily provoked; meek, a spirit which has been schooled to mildness by discipline or suffering. The lamb is gentle; the domestic fowl is tame; John, the Apostle, was mild; Moses was meek.

Gen′tle

,
Noun.
1.
One well born; a gentleman.
[Obs.]
Gentles
, methinks you frown.
Shakespeare
2.
A trained falcon. See
Falcon-gentil
.
3.
(Zool.)
A dipterous larva used as fish bait.

Gent′le

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble.
[Obs.]
Shak.
2.
To make smooth, cozy, or agreeable.
[R. or Poet.]
To
gentle
life's descent,
We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain.
Young.

Webster 1828 Edition


Gentle

GEN'TLE

,
Adj.
[See Genteel.] Well born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble; as the studies of noble and gentle youth; gentle blood.
1.
Mild; meek; soft; bland; not rough, harsh or severe; as a gentle nature, temper or disposition; a gentle manner; a gentle address; a gentle voice. 1 Thess. 27. 2 Tim.2.
2.
Tame; peaceable; not wild, turbulent or refractory; as a gentle horse or beast.
3.
Soothing; pacific.
4.
Treating with mildness; not violent.
A gentle hand may lead the elephant with a hair.

GEN'TLE

,
Noun.
A gentleman.
1.
A kind of worm.

GEN'TLE

,
Verb.
T.
To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar.

Definition 2021


gentle

gentle

English

Adjective

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:
      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

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

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

  1. (intransitive) to become gentle (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. (transitive) to ennoble (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (transitive, animal husbandry) to break; to tame; to domesticate (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. (transitive) To soothe; to calm. (Can we add an example for this sense?)

Noun

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.