An example of genteel is a teenage boy trying to win over his girlfriend's parents; he would be appear to have genteel manners.
- having or showing the good taste and refinement associated with polite society; elegant, fashionable, etc.
- excessively or affectedly refined, polite, etc.
Origin of genteelfrom Old French gentil (of same origin, originally as gentle and jaunty, but borrowed again in 16th circa )
- Refined or polite, often in an affected way: “Who better to domesticate him than the most genteel woman in the world? What better to housebreak him than … a delicate actress with beautiful diction for his wife?” ( Philip Roth ) See Synonyms at polite.
- Typical or characteristic of the upper class: “His family background was somewhat less genteel than his Brahmin name and Harvard pedigree might suggest” ( Scot French )
- Elegantly stylish or fashionable: genteel manners and appearance.
Origin of genteelFrench gentil from Old French; see gentle .
(comparative more genteel, superlative most genteel)
From French gentil