Gentle vs genteel

  • Gentle means having a mild manner or character, not harsh in temperate. Gentle may also describe a slight slope or easily tamed animal. Gentle may be used as an adjective or a verb, related words are gentles, gentled, gentling. An archaic use of gentle is to describe someone of noble birth or someone who is chivalrous. Gentle comes from the Latin word gentilis which means of the same family or clan, taking on the meaning of being mild-mannered in the fifteenth century.


    Genteel means refined, polite, well-bred. Genteel is an adjective, derived from the Middle French word gentil  which means stylish, elegant, graceful, pleasing. Genteel entered the English language around 1590.


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