gen·​til·​i·​ty | \ jen-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce gentility (audio) \
plural gentilities

Definition of gentility

1a : the condition of belonging to the gentry
2a(1) : decorum of conduct : courtesy
(2) : attitudes or activity marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation
b : 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 Throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods, gloves were the symbol of gentility, Albano noted. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 26 July 2022 Two of those soldiers vie for Alenka’s affection, creating a love triangle that pits one man’s gentility against the other’s sense of privilege. Carol Memmott, Washington Post, 20 June 2022 James Udom plays the role with a beautiful command of Shakespearean language and a gentility and sincerity not usually seen in this character. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 June 2022 My first meal in Dublin was at the Saddle Room, and, with in its calm and gentility, nothing could have cured my jet lag better with food of such a high caliber. John Mariani, Forbes, 6 June 2022 True to the Onion's nature as a brand sprung from the Midwest (Madison, Wisconsin) in 1988, there's a whiff of gentility to its Ukraine humor. David Bauder, ajc, 29 Mar. 2022 Among the Republicans, there were early flashes of gentility: Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the committee’s senior Republican, pulled out a chair for Judge Jackson just before the hearing began. New York Times, 21 Mar. 2022 Contrary to her public persona, Kelley is known in D.C. social circles for her gentility. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Mar. 2022 As Cummins explains, Cilly Brenner (Mama in the book) had lived a refined middle-class life in Germany and sought to maintain this gentility on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 23 July 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of gentility

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

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

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gentility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for gentility


gen·​til·​i·​ty | \ jen-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce gentility (audio) \

Kids Definition of gentility

1 : high social status
2 : a quality of elegance and politeness It was totally unlike them, this lapse from gentility— Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

More from Merriam-Webster on gentility

Nglish: Translation of gentility for Spanish Speakers


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