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mid-13c., "noble, kind, gracious" (mid-12c. as a surname); late 14c., "of noble rank or birth, belonging to the gentry," from Late Latin gentilis "foreign, heathen, pagan," from Latin gentilis "person belonging to the same family, fellow countryman," from gentilis (adj.) "of the same family or clan," from gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan" (see gentle).
late 14c., "chivalrous person; member of the nobility;" see gentile (adj.). Also used during 14c. to mean both "one who is not a Christian" and "one who is not a Jew." The Latin word was used in Vulgate to translate Greek ethnikos, from ta ethne "the nations," which translated Hebrew ha goyim "the (non-Jewish) nations."
Note: Both the Old Testament and the New Testament tell of numerous conflicts between Jews and Gentiles. Figuratively, a “gentile” is any nonbeliever.