1

gentle

play
adjective gen·tle \ˈjen-təl\

Definition of gentle

gentler

play \ˈjent-lər, -təl-ər\;

gentlest

play \ˈjent-ləst, -təl-əst\
  1. 1a :  belonging to a family of high social stationb archaic :  chivalrousc :  honorable, distinguished; specifically :  of or relating to a gentlemand :  kind, amiable —used especially in address as a complimentary epithet gentle readere :  suited to a person of high social station the gentle art of sophisticated conversation

  2. 2a :  tractable, docile a gentle horseb :  free from harshness, sternness, or violence used gentle persuasion

  3. 3 :  soft, delicate the gentle touch of her hand

  4. 4 :  moderate His doctor recommended gentle exercise.

gently

play \ˈjent-lē\ adverb

Examples of gentle in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of gentle from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of gentle

Middle English gentyl “of aristocratic birth, exhibiting ideal characteristics of the wellborn, of excellent quality, gracious, courteous, kind,” borrowed from Anglo-French gentil, borrowed from Medieval Latin gentīlis “of one's own house, of good family or breeding, native, of a non-Jewish nation or faith, not Christian, pagan,” going back to Latin “of a Roman gens, of one's own family or tribe, native,” from gent-, gens “race, people, gens” + -īlis, suffix of affiliation


2

gentle

noun gen·tle

Definition of gentle

  1. :  a person of gentle (see 1gentle 1a) birth or status

Examples of gentle in a Sentence

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

Origin and Etymology of gentle

Middle English gentil (usually plural), borrowed from Anglo-French, derivative of gentil “of aristocratic birth, 1gentle


3

gentle

verb gen·tle

Definition of gentle

gentled

;

gentling

play \ˈjent-liŋ, ˈjen-təl-iŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to raise from the commonalty :  ennoble

  3. 2a :  to make gentlerb :  to make (an animal) tame and docilec :  mollify, placate gentled the raging kingd :  to stroke soothingly :  pet

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to become gentle the wind gentled

Examples of gentle in a Sentence

  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

Origin and Etymology of gentle

Middle English gentylen, derivative of gentyl 1gentle



GENTLE Defined for English Language Learners

gentle

play
adjective

Definition of gentle for English Language Learners

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

  • : not hard or forceful

  • : not strong or harsh in effect or quality


GENTLE Defined for Kids

gentle

play
adjective gen·tle \ˈjen-təl\

Definition of gentle for Students

gentler

;

gentlest

  1. 1 :  having or showing a kind and quiet nature :  not harsh, stern, or violent He was a large but gentle man.

  2. 2 :  not hard or forceful a gentle wind

  3. 3 :  not strong or harsh in quality or effect a gentle soap

  4. 4 :  not steep or sharp gentle hills

gentleness

\ˈjen-təl-nəs\ noun

gently

\ˈjent-lē\ adverb


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