Definition of genteel in English:


Syllabification: gen·teel
Pronunciation: /jenˈtēl


Polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or ostentatious way.
More example sentences
  • After that it looks like something from a more refined and genteel and luxurious and over-the-top era.
  • By day, as a student living with his genteel hosts, he cultivates the persona of a bookish young man given to headaches and dizzy spells.
  • Such was the genteel corporate culture of the time that employees were encouraged to take a rest after lunch.
well bred, cultured, sophisticated, ladylike, gentlemanly, dignified, gracious;


late 16th century (in the sense 'fashionable, stylish'): from French gentil 'well-born'. From the 17th century to the 19th century the word was used in such senses as 'of good social position', 'having the manners of a well-born person', 'well-bred'. The ironic or derogatory implication dates from the 19th century.



More example sentences
  • There's a certain humor in Wilson constructing a life for himself that genteelly avoids every topic that fills his own book with interest.
  • Every afternoon from 4 to 5, we found ourselves on the inn's porch with a dozen or so other guests, genteelly sipping iced tea in our rocking chairs as the afternoon breeze cooled our new sunburns.
  • She started a little pile of items for my later perusal, which she genteelly labeled ‘miscellaneous.’


More example sentences
  • Nancy personifies the genteelness they like to see in people irrespective of gender.
  • You get a pillow that is gentle offering the neck and head stability you are looking for and still maintaining the genteelness you want.
  • We have so many Northern transplants here that Charlotte has forever lost the Southern genteelness it used to have.

Definition of genteel in: