gentle

[jen-tl]
adjective, gentler, gentlest.
1.
kindly; amiable: a gentle manner.
2.
not severe, rough, or violent; mild: a gentle wind; a gentle tap on the shoulder.
3.
moderate: gentle heat.
4.
gradual: a gentle slope.
5.
of good birth or family; wellborn.
6.
characteristic of good birth; honorable; respectable: a gentle upbringing.
7.
easily handled or managed; tractable: a gentle animal.
8.
soft or low: a gentle sound.
9.
polite; refined: Consider, gentle reader, my terrible predicament at this juncture.
10.
entitled to a coat of arms; armigerous.
11.
Archaic. noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight.
verb (used with object), gentled, gentling.
12.
to tame; render tractable.
13.
to mollify; calm; pacify.
14.
to make gentle.
15.
to stroke; soothe by petting.
16.
to ennoble; dignify.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English gentle, gentil(e) < Old French gentil highborn, noble < Latin gentīlis belonging to the same family, equivalent to gent- (stem of gēns) gens + -īlis -le

gentleness, noun
gently, adverb
overgentle, adjective
overgently, adverb
ungentle, adjective
ungentleness, noun
ungently, adverb


1. clement, peaceful, pacific, soothing; tender, humane, lenient, merciful. Gentle, meek, mild refer to an absence of bad temper or belligerence. Gentle has reference especially to disposition and behavior, and often suggests a deliberate or voluntary kindness or forbearance in dealing with others: a gentle pat; gentle with children. Meek implies a submissive spirit, and may even indicate undue submission in the face of insult or injustice: meek and even servile or weak. Mild suggests absence of harshness or severity, rather because of natural character or temperament than conscious choice: a mild rebuke; a mild manner. 3. temperate. 5. noble. 7. manageable, docile, tame, quiet. 9. courteous; polished.


1. harsh, cruel. 2. violent, sudden. 7. wild, unruly.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gentle (ˈdʒɛntəl)
 
adj
1.  having a mild or kindly nature or character
2.  soft or temperate; mild; moderate: a gentle scolding
3.  gradual: a gentle slope
4.  easily controlled; tame: a gentle horse
5.  archaic of good breeding; noble: gentle blood
6.  archaic gallant; chivalrous
 
vb
7.  to tame or subdue (a horse)
8.  to appease or mollify
9.  obsolete to ennoble or dignify
 
n
10.  a maggot, esp when used as bait in fishing
11.  archaic a person who is of good breeding
 
[C13: from Old French gentil noble, from Latin gentīlis belonging to the same family; see gens]
 
'gently
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gentle
early 13c., from O.Fr. gentil "high-born, noble," from L. gentilis "of the same family or clan," from gens (gen. gentis) "race, clan," from root of gignere "beget" (see kin), from PIE base *gen- "produce." Sense of "gracious, kind" (now obsolete) first recorded late 13c.; that
of "mild, tender" is 1550s. Older sense remains in gentleman "well-born man" (late 13c.). Gentleman's agreement is first attested 1929.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He spoke gently and quietly, as it is in his nature to do.
Remember this: gently boosting the electrical waves in the brain can improve
  memory.
When the guilty party finally came forward, she treated him gently but firmly.
To avoid damaging branches, twist fruit off gently rather than pulling it.
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