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genteel

[jen-teel] /dʒɛnˈtil/
adjective
1.
belonging or suited to polite society.
2.
well-bred or refined; polite; elegant; stylish.
3.
affectedly or pretentiously polite, delicate, etc.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < French gentil; see gentle
Related forms
genteelly, adverb
genteelness, noun
pseudogenteel, adjective
quasi-genteel, adjective
quasi-genteelly, adverb
ungenteel, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quasigenteel

genteel

/dʒɛnˈtiːl/
adjective
1.
affectedly proper or refined; excessively polite
2.
respectable, polite, and well-bred: a genteel old lady
3.
appropriate to polite or fashionable society: genteel behaviour
Derived Forms
genteelly, adverb
genteelness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French gentil well-born; see gentle
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 quasigenteel

genteel

adj.

1590s, from Middle French gentil "stylish, fashionable, elegant; nice, graceful, pleasing," from Old French gentil "high-born, noble" (11c.); a reborrowing of the French word that had early come into English as gentle (q.v.), with French pronunciation and stress preserved to emphasize the distinction. Cf. also jaunty; gentile. OED 2nd ed. reports genteel "is now used, except by the ignorant, only in mockery" (a development it dates from the 1840s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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