adjective gen·tle \ˈjen-təl\

: having or showing a kind and quiet nature : not harsh or violent

: not hard or forceful

: not strong or harsh in effect or quality

gen·tler \ˈjent-lər, -təl-ər\ gen·tlest \ˈjent-ləst, -təl-əst\

Full Definition of GENTLE

a :  belonging to a family of high social station
b archaic :  chivalrous
c :  honorable, distinguished; specifically :  of or relating to a gentleman
d :  kind, amiable —used especially in address as a complimentary epithet <gentle reader>
e :  suited to a person of high social station
a :  tractable, docile
b :  free from harshness, sternness, or violence
:  soft, delicate
:  moderate
gent·ly \ˈjent-lē\ adverb

Examples of GENTLE

  1. a dog that is gentle with children
  2. Your mother has a gentle manner.
  3. a gentle sense of humor
  4. I heard a gentle knock at the door.
  5. It's a delicate problem that requires gentle handling.
  6. The job requires a gentle touch.
  7. The cold snap was a gentle reminder that winter was coming.

Origin of GENTLE

Middle English gentil, from Anglo-French, from Latin gentilis of a gens, of one's family, from gent-, gens gens, nation; akin to Latin gignere to beget — more at kin
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with GENTLE



Definition of GENTLE

:  a person of gentle birth or status

Examples of GENTLE

  1. <the archbishop treated both the gentles and the commoners with respect and kindness>

First Known Use of GENTLE

14th century

Rhymes with GENTLE


gen·tledgen·tling \ˈjent-liŋ, ˈjen-təl-iŋ\

Definition of GENTLE

transitive verb
:  to raise from the commonalty :  ennoble
a :  to make gentler
b :  to make (an animal) tame and docile
c :  mollify, placate
d :  to stroke soothingly :  pet
intransitive verb
:  to become gentle <the wind gentled>

Examples of GENTLE

  1. <employees soon learned that their hot-tempered boss needed to be gentled several times a day>
  2. <soothingly gentled his cat's head as she was being treated by the vet>

First Known Use of GENTLE

14th century
GENTLEST Defined for Kids


adjective gen·tle \ˈjen-təl\

Definition of GENTLE for Kids

:  having or showing a kind and quiet nature :  not harsh, stern, or violent <He was a large but gentle man.>
:  not hard or forceful <a gentle wind>
:  not strong or harsh in quality or effect <a gentle soap>
:  not steep or sharp <gentle hills>
gen·tle·ness \ˈjen-təl-nəs\ noun
gent·ly \ˈjent-lē\ adverb


Next Word in the Dictionary: gentleboyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: gentisinAll Words Near: gentle
July 29, 2015
indomitable Hear it
incapable of being subdued or conquered
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