gentle
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈdʒɛntl̩/
  • (GA) enPR: jĕn′tl, IPA: /ˈdʒɛntl̩/, [ˈd͡ʒɛ̃ɾ̃l̩]
Adjective

gentle (comparative gentler, superlative gentlest)

  1. Tender and amiable; of a considerate or kindly disposition.
    Stuart is a gentle man; he would never hurt you.
  2. Soft and mild rather than hard or severe.
    I felt something touch my shoulder; it was gentle and a little slimy.
  3. Docile and easily managed.
    We had a gentle swim in the lake.
    a gentle horse
  4. Gradual rather than steep or sudden.
    The walks in this area have a gentle incline.
  5. Polite and respectful rather than rude.
    He gave me a gentle reminder that we had to hurry up.
  6. (archaic) Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.
    • British society is divided into nobility, gentry, and yeomanry, and families are either noble, gentle, or simple.
    • [1644], [John Milton], Of Education. To Master Samuel Hartlib, [London: Printed for Thomas Underhill and/or for Thomas Johnson], OCLC 946735316 ↗:
      the studies wherein our noble and gentle youth ought to bestow their time
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

gentle (gentles, present participle gentling; past and past participle gentled)

  1. (intransitive) to become gentle
    • 2013, Kathryn L.M. Reynolds, Garland Roses, Kathryn L.M. Reynolds (ISBN 9781301453559), page 226
      “She's experienced a horrific and nasty scare and is in a state of shock, but otherwise she's relatively okay.” Conrad replied, his tone at first grim (as he recalled what he'd seen in the family room) and then it gentled to a more doctorial tone as he directed his next comments to his patient.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) to ennoble
    • c. 1599, Henry V, by Shakespeare, Act IV Scene III
      […] For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, / This day shall gentle his condition […]
  3. (transitive, animal husbandry) to break; to tame; to domesticate
    • 2008, Frank Leslie, The Killing Breed, Penguin (ISBN 9781440637377)
      Yakima could have tried to catch him, gentle him as Wolf had been gentled, but having two stallions in his cavvy would lead to a different kind of trouble.
  4. (transitive) To soothe; to calm; to make gentle.
    • 1996, William C. Loring, An American Romantic-realist Abroad: Templeton Strong and His Music, Scarecrow Press (ISBN 9780810827660), page 201
      A hornist, his playing gentled by perspective, is out of sight within the woods, but his notes are heard through or over the murmuring mix of bird song and breeze in leaves.
Noun

gentle (plural gentles)

  1. (archaic) A person of high birth.
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Gentles, methinks you frown.
  2. (fishing) A maggot used as bait by anglers.
  3. A trained falcon, or falcon-gentil.

Gentle
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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