gentile

noun
gen·​tile | \ ˈjen-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce gentile (audio) \

Definition of gentile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith especially : a Christian as distinguished from a Jew
3 often capitalized : a non-Mormon

gentile

adjective

Definition of gentile (Entry 2 of 2)

1 often capitalized
a : of or relating to the nations at large as distinguished from the Jews also : of or relating to Christians as distinguished from the Jews
b : of or relating to non-Mormons
3 [borrowed from Latin gentīlis] : relating to a tribe or clan

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Synonyms for gentile

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of gentile in a Sentence

Noun a strict sect that believes that fellowship with gentiles should exist only for the purposes of conversion
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And, in the face of our modern plague, Zoom. *Gentle reminder, gentiles: Passover is a bread-free holiday. Rachel Levin, SFChronicle.com, "Wise Sons’ brisket recipe for Passover," 2 Apr. 2020 On its first weekend in business, the clientele included a mix of Jews, gentiles, individuals with special needs and those without special needs. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Friendship Circle Bakery and Cafe in Fox Point helps individuals with special needs gain occupational skills," 24 Dec. 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, gains its strength not only from Jewish support, but also from the scores of millions of gentile Americans who cherish these bonds. Lou Weiss, WSJ, "Why Do Americans Care About Israel?," 21 Mar. 2019 For the first time, righteous gentiles — non-Jews recognized by Yad Vashem for saving Jews during the Holocaust — will receive a monthly pension from the German government. sun-sentinel.com, "Iran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium breaches nuclear deal limit," 2 July 2019 Yiddish has the phrase shanda fur die goyim to describe a Jew who misbehaves in places and ways that gentiles can see. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 In contrast to most overtly Jewish comedy, which usually compares Jews and gentiles, most of his material juxtaposes the frum and not frum. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "What’s So Funny About Orthodox Judaism? This Comic Has One Answer," 13 June 2018 For all his hatred of parochial moralizing—a constant theme in his work, whether the preaching came from Jews or gentiles, liberals or conservatives—Roth was himself a kind of moralist. Adam Kirsch, The Atlantic, "Remembering Philip Roth, a Giant of American Literature," 23 May 2018 Van Hulst was among more than 26,500 gentiles — 5,595 from the Netherlands — recognized by Yad Vashem for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Ellie Silverman, latimes.com, "Dutch schoolteacher who saved hundreds of Jewish children during Holocaust dies at 107," 4 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Here and there it was relieved by the heroic efforts of Lotar, hiding in Prague, and his gentile wife, Zdenka. New York Times, "A Box of Secrets Led to the Story of Her Father’s Painful Wartime Past," 28 Mar. 2020 After the birth, her father, the son of a well-to-do Krakow family that ran a leather business, made arrangements for his infant daughter to be cared for by gentile friends, the Sendlers. Bart Barnes, Washington Post, "Anita Epstein, who chronicled her infancy during the Holocaust, dies at 76," 9 July 2019 After the birth, her father, the son of a well-to-do Krakow family that ran a leather business, made arrangements for his infant daughter to be cared for by gentile friends, the Sendlers. Bart Barnes, Washington Post, "Anita Epstein, who chronicled her infancy during the Holocaust, dies at 76," 9 July 2019 After the birth, her father, the son of a well-to-do Krakow family that ran a leather business, made arrangements for his infant daughter to be cared for by gentile friends, the Sendlers. Bart Barnes, Washington Post, "Anita Epstein, who chronicled her infancy during the Holocaust, dies at 76," 9 July 2019 After the birth, her father, the son of a well-to-do Krakow family that ran a leather business, made arrangements for his infant daughter to be cared for by gentile friends, the Sendlers. Bart Barnes, BostonGlobe.com, "Anita Epstein, who chronicled her infancy during the Holocaust, dies at 76," 13 July 2019 East Asians and Ashkenazi Jews have higher average IQ scores than gentile whites. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Why I Write about Race and IQ," 5 July 2017 Another retold accounts of Jewish blood libel, myths of Jews using the blood of gentile children in sacrifice rituals, in medieval Russian villages. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, "Leo Frank was lynched for a murder he didn’t commit. Now neo-Nazis are trying to rewrite history.," 22 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gentile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gentile

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gentile

Noun

Middle English gentyl, gentile — more at gentle entry 2

Note: Historically the same word as gentle entry 2, with full vowel in the final syllable under influence of the Medieval and Late Latin source word.

Adjective

Middle English gentyl, gentile — more at gentle entry 1

Note: See note at gentile entry 1.

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Time Traveler for gentile

Time Traveler

The first known use of gentile was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Gentile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gentile. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for gentile

gentile

noun
How to pronounce gentile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gentile

: a person who is not Jewish

gentile

noun, often capitalized
gen·​tile | \ ˈjen-ˌtīl How to pronounce gentile (audio) \

Kids Definition of gentile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is not Jewish

gentile

adjective, often capitalized

Kids Definition of gentile (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to people who are not Jewish

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Comments on gentile

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