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gentility

[jen-til-i-tee] /dʒɛnˈtɪl ɪ ti/
noun
1.
good breeding or refinement.
2.
affected or pretentious politeness or elegance.
3.
the status of belonging to polite society.
4.
members of polite society collectively.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Old French gentilite < Latin gentīlitāt- (stem of gentīlitās), equivalent to gentīl(is) (see gentle) + -itāt- -ity
Related forms
ungentility, noun
Synonyms
1. polish, grace, decorum, propriety.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gentility
  • On film she seemed all big dark eyes, dazzling smile and invincible gentility.
  • His sweet gentility and uncommon wisdom will be greatly missed.
  • The old red blood and stainless gentility of great poets will be proved by their unconstraint.
  • His is a world devoid of harsh realities, a serene place where gentility is the essence of gracious living.
  • Her boldness and tenacity were remarkable in an era when society was obsessed with the trappings of gentility.
  • But if so, her loss of gentility did not bother her at all.
  • Seeking the lost gentility of her early life, she faces a mental breakdown because of the insensitivity of those around her.
  • Not only does this prove crucial to the novel's setting, but it has helped preserve a bygone era of splendor and gentility.
  • These show places were used to display the wealth and gentility of their owners and emphasized convenience in their designs.
  • She observed signs of gentility among the hustling crowd.
British Dictionary definitions for gentility

gentility

/dʒɛnˈtɪlɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
respectability and polite good breeding
2.
affected politeness
3.
noble birth or ancestry
4.
people of noble birth
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gentilite, from Latin gentīlitās relationship of those belonging to the same tribe or family; see gens
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gentility
n.

mid-14c., "gentle birth," from Old French gentilité (14c.) or directly from Latin gentilitatem (nominative gentilitas) "relationship in the same family or clan," from gentilis (see gentle). Meaning "state of being gentile" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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