genteel


gen·teel

adjective \jen-ˈtēl\

: of or relating to people who have high social status

: pretending or trying to have the qualities and manners of people who have high social status

: having a quietly appealing or polite quality

Full Definition of GENTEEL

1
a :  having an aristocratic quality or flavor :  stylish
b :  of or relating to the gentry or upper class
c :  elegant or graceful in manner, appearance, or shape
d :  free from vulgarity or rudeness :  polite
2
a :  maintaining or striving to maintain the appearance of superior or middle-class social status or respectability
b (1) :  marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation
(2) :  conventionally or insipidly pretty <timid and genteel artistic style>
gen·teel·ly \-ˈtē(l)-lē\ adverb
gen·teel·ness noun

Examples of GENTEEL

  1. a person of genteel upbringing
  2. She was born into a genteel family.
  3. an elderly woman living in genteel poverty
  4. speaking in a genteel accent
  5. They lived in a more genteel era.
  6. the genteel manners of an old southern gentleman

Origin of GENTEEL

Middle French gentil gentle
First Known Use: 1599

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