Gentle is how this mother washes her baby's hand.
An example of gentle is a mother bathing her newborn baby.
- belonging to the upper classes or polite society
- like or suitable to polite society; refined, courteous, etc.
- Archaic noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight
- generous; kind: gentle reader
- easily handled; tame: a gentle dog
- kindly; serene; patient: a gentle disposition
- not violent, harsh, or rough: a gentle tap, a gentle rebuke
- gradual: a gentle slope
Origin of gentleMiddle English gentil from OFr, of noble birth from Classical Latin gentilis, of the same gens (in LL, of a good family) from gens: see gens
transitive verb-·tled, -·tling
- to make gentle, mild, or pleasant
- to tame or train (a horse or other animal)
- to calm or soothe as by stroking
- Obs. to raise to the social status of a gentleman
the gentle craft
- Obs. shoemaking
- Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.
- Not harsh or severe; mild and soft: a gentle scolding; a gentle tapping at the window.
- Easily managed or handled; docile: a gentle horse.
- Not steep or sudden; gradual: a gentle incline.
- a. Of good family; wellborn: a child of gentle birth.b. Suited to one of good breeding; refined and polite: a gentle greeting to a stranger.
- Archaic Noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight.
transitive verbgen·tled, gen·tling, gen·tles
- To make less severe or intense: The peaceful sunset gentled her dreadful mood.
- To soothe, as by stroking; pacify.
- To tame or break (a horse).
- Obsolete To raise to the status of a noble.
Origin of gentleMiddle English gentil courteous, noble from Old French from Latin gentīlis of the same clan from gēns gent- clan ; see genə- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative gentler, superlative gentlest)
- Tender and amiable; of a considerate or kindly disposition.
- Stuart is a gentle man; he would never hurt you.
- Soft and mild rather than hard or severe.
- I felt something touch my shoulder; it was gentle and a little slimy.
- Docile and easily managed.
- We had a gentle swim in the lake.
- a gentle horse
- Gradual rather than steep or sudden.
- The walks in this area have a gentle incline.
- Polite and respectful rather than rude.
- He gave me a gentle reminder that we had to hurry up.
- (archaic) Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.
- (polite): rude
(third-person singular simple present gentles, present participle gentling, simple past and past participle gentled)