There are 2 main definitions of gentle in English:

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gentle1

Line breaks: gen¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛnt(ə)l
 
/

adjective (gentler, gentlest)

1Having or showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character: a gentle, sensitive man her gentle voice
More example sentences
  • The beloved is portrayed as gentle, sensitive, tender and compassionate.
  • He is exposed as a complex character, gentle, understanding, patient and loving in private.
  • The minister, though gentle in character, is firm of purpose.
Synonyms
kind, kindly, tender, benign, humane, lenient, merciful, forgiving, forbearing, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, clement, compassionate, benevolent, kind-hearted, tender-hearted, good-natured, sweet-tempered, loving;
mild, soft, quiet, shy, demure, modest, humble, retiring, unassuming, still, tranquil, peaceful, peaceable, pacific, placid, serene, reposeful, reverent, meek, docile, lamblike, dovelike
2Moderate in action, effect, or degree; not strong or violent: take some gentle exercise a gentle breeze
More example sentences
  • You can also employ gentle persuasion and subtlety to excellent effect.
  • Just before I pass out, strong yet gentle arms pick me up.
  • Yet the softness of the edges of the silhouettes and the equal softness of the charcoal surfaces produce a soothing, gentle effect.
Synonyms
light, soft, zephyr-like, moderate, pleasant
2.1(Of a slope) gradual: a gentle embankment
More example sentences
  • They were doing it the easy way round - gentle slope followed by breakneck descent, but it was clearly regarded as a children-friendly route.
  • The first part of the hill was quite easy - a gentle slope that flattened off into a brief plateau.
  • Close to the beginners meadow are gentle slopes, which become imperceptibly steeper, enabling you to improve without fear.
Synonyms
3 archaic (Of a person) noble or having the qualities attributed to noble birth; courteous and chivalrous.
Example sentences
  • She could be described as a refined, gentle lady, with admirable intellectual qualities.
  • My dinner guests were gentle people with refined sensibilities.
  • Tennis is the game of the gentle people, the game so prim, so historical… so deranged.

verb

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1Make or become gentle: [no object]: Cobb’s tone gentled a little
More example sentences
  • She quickly assessed the young man, the pallor of the police officer's face and gentled her tone as she asked, ‘Can you tell me what you saw, please?’
  • He looked to the sky and calmed the storm, gentling the wind and made the snow fall thinner.
  • The journey back wasn't half as bad as the one up and soon the harshness of the landscape was gentled with green.
1.1 [with object] Touch (a person or animal) gently, typically in order to make them calmer or more docile.
Example sentences
  • The remarkableness of this accomplishment was that Smith also gentled these horses with a broken foot in a cast.
  • They had her gentled at a trainer's farm and then they kept her for a few years as a simple backyard riding pony.
  • Do gentled and trained mustangs serve a useful purpose?

Origin

Middle English: from Old French gentil 'high-born, noble', from Latin gentilis 'of the same clan' (see gentile). The original sense was 'nobly born', hence 'courteous, chivalrous', later 'mild, moderate in action or disposition' (mid 16th century).

More
  • The root word shared by genteel (late 16th century), gentile (Late Middle English) ‘not Jewish’, and gentle is Latin gentilis ‘of a family or nation, of the same clan’, which came from gens ‘family, race’. Genteel and gentle originally had similar meanings. Genteel first meant ‘stylish, fashionable’, and ‘well bred’—the ironic or derogatory implications that it now tends to have date from the 19th century. The original sense of gentle was ‘nobly born’, from which came ‘courteous, chivalrous’, the idea behind gentleman (Middle English). See also blonde. Jaunty (mid 17th century) is an anglicization of the French for gentle, gentil and was first used to mean ‘gentile’.

Words that rhyme with gentle

dental, mental, Oriental, parental, rental

Definition of gentle in:

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There are 2 main definitions of gentle in English:

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gentle2

Line breaks: gen¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛntl
 
/

noun

Fishing
A maggot, especially the larva of a blowfly, used as bait.
Example sentences
  • Mike's fish was caught on a size 12 hook baited with gentles.
  • The best fish reported to me was a barbel of 12-8 - on swim feeder rig and gentles as bait on a size ten hook.
  • Some of the deeper slower water by the golf course and downstream is best fished with swim feeder rig using hemp as an attractor with gentles or casters as hook bait.

Origin

late 16th century: probably from an obsolete sense of the adjective, 'soft, pliant'.

More
  • The root word shared by genteel (late 16th century), gentile (Late Middle English) ‘not Jewish’, and gentle is Latin gentilis ‘of a family or nation, of the same clan’, which came from gens ‘family, race’. Genteel and gentle originally had similar meanings. Genteel first meant ‘stylish, fashionable’, and ‘well bred’—the ironic or derogatory implications that it now tends to have date from the 19th century. The original sense of gentle was ‘nobly born’, from which came ‘courteous, chivalrous’, the idea behind gentleman (Middle English). See also blonde. Jaunty (mid 17th century) is an anglicization of the French for gentle, gentil and was first used to mean ‘gentile’.

Definition of gentle in:

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