A word or expression used because it is thought to be socially more acceptable than the everyday word: in German usage ‘sister’ was the accepted genteelism for ‘mistress’
More example sentences
- Lady used to indicate a woman professional, as in lady doctor and lady lawyer, a genteelism that dates from a time when women were rare in such professions.
- This genteelism is creeping in all over the place, as if the word ‘me’ has suddenly become impolite.
Definition of genteelism in:
- The US English dictionary