gentle


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gentle \Gen"tle\, a. [Compar. Gentler; superl. Gentlest.]
   [OE. gentil, F. gentil noble, pretty, graceful, fr. L.
   gentilis of the same clan or race, fr. gens, gentis, tribe,
   clan, race, orig. that which belongs together by birth, fr.
   the root of genere, gignere, to beget; hence gentle,
   properly, of birth or family, that is, of good or noble
   birth. See Gender, and cf. Genteel, Gentil, Gentile,
   Gentoo, Jaunty.]
   1. Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though
      not noble.
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            British society is divided into nobility, gentry,
            and yeomanry, and families are either noble, gentle,
            or simple.                            --Johnson's
                                                  Cyc.
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            The studies wherein our noble and gentle youth ought
            to bestow their time.                 --Milton.
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   2. Quiet and refined in manners; not rough, harsh, or stern;
      mild; meek; bland; amiable; tender; as, a gentle nature,
      temper, or disposition; a gentle manner; a gentle address;
      a gentle voice.
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   3. A compellative of respect, consideration, or conciliation;
      as, gentle reader. "Gentle sirs." "Gentle Jew." "Gentle
      servant." --Shak.
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   4. Not wild, turbulent, or refractory; quiet and docile;
      tame; peaceable; as, a gentle horse.
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   5. Soft; not violent or rough; not strong, loud, or
      disturbing; easy; soothing; pacific; as, a gentle touch; a
      gentle gallop . "Gentle music." --Sir J. Davies.
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            O sleep! it is a gentle thing.        --Coleridge.
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   The gentle craft, the art or trade of shoemaking.

   Syn: Mild; meek; placid; dovelike; quiet; peaceful; pacific;
        bland; soft; tame; tractable; docile.

   Usage: Gentle, Tame, Mild, Meek. Gentle describes the
          natural disposition; tame, that which is subdued by
          training; mild implies a temper which is, by nature,
          not easily provoked; meek, a spirit which has been
          schooled to mildness by discipline or suffering. The
          lamb is gentle; the domestic fowl is tame; John, the
          Apostle, was mild; Moses was meek.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gentle \Gen"tle\, n.
   1. One well born; a gentleman. [Obs.]
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            Gentles, methinks you frown.          --Shak.
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   2. A trained falcon. See Falcon-gentil.
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   3. (Zool.) A dipterous larva used as fish bait.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gentle \Gent"le\, v. t.
   1. To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble.
      [Obs.] --Shak.
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   2. To make smooth, cozy, or agreeable. [R. or Poet.]
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            To gentle life's descent,
            We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain. --Young.
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   3. To make kind and docile, as a horse. [Colloq.] Gentlefolk
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