gen·​ti·​lesse ˌjen-tə-ˈles How to pronounce gentilesse (audio)
: decorum of conduct befitting a member of the gentry

Word History


Middle English, "aristocratic birth, ideal characteristics of the wellborn," borrowed from Anglo-French, from gentil gentle entry 1 + -esse, suffix of abstract nouns (going back to Latin -itia)

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gentilesse was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gentilesse

Cite this Entry

“Gentilesse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on gentilesse

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!