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.

Origin and Etymology of gentle

Middle English gentil, from Anglo-French, from Latin gentilis of a gens, of one's family, from gent-, gens gens, nation; akin to Latin gignere to beget — more at kin


First Known Use: 13th century


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

see 1gentle


First Known Use: 14th century


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

see 1gentle


First Known Use: 14th century



GENTLE Defined for English Language Learners

1

gentle

play
adjective gen·tle \ˈjen-təl\

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gentle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ