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genteel

play
adjective gen·teel \jen-ˈtēl\

Simple Definition of genteel

  • : 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. 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. 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 play \-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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