gen·​til·​i·​ty jen-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce gentility (audio)
plural gentilities
: the condition of belonging to the gentry
: decorum of conduct : courtesy
: attitudes or activity marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation
: superior social status or prestige evidenced by manners, possessions, or mode of life

Examples of gentility in a Sentence

Education was considered a mark of gentility. was full of the same gentility and grace that marked the rest of the family
Recent Examples on the Web Yet, thanks to Cloud, who brought gentleness and gentility to the role, the character could never be easily written off, or out, as a gangland plot device. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2023 On a show where decorum and gentility are supposedly everything, the rules somehow only apply to certain people. Ineye Komonibo,, 27 Feb. 2023 Austen’s Bennet family is shabby upper-middle-class gentility. Noah Berlatsky, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2023 But despite that, the atmosphere is one of gentility and calm. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 In a different era with far less public scrutiny, Columbia University simply shunted Jewish applicants off to a local community college instead so as to keep them from embarrassing the WASP gentility of the Ivy League by their demographic dominance at the main campus. The Editors, National Review, 8 Mar. 2023 That sort of gentility is not unusual for this stage of the campaign. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 Today, the area’s heavy hitters are fortifying their academic futures and at the same time nudging their neighborhood into ever more uniform gentility, a process that will go on until the last nugget of salable square footage has been mined from the mountaintop. Curbed, 18 Aug. 2022 Jeff could be convincing in his gentility. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gentility.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near gentility

Cite this Entry

“Gentility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


gen·​til·​i·​ty jen-ˈtil-ət-ē How to pronounce gentility (audio)
plural gentilities
: good birth and family
: the qualities of a well-bred person
: good manners

More from Merriam-Webster on gentility

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