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GEN'TILE, n. [L. gentilis; Fr. gentil; Sp. gentil; from L. gens, nation, race; applied to pagans.]

In the Scriptures, a pagan; a worshiper of false gods; any person not a Jew or a Christian; a heathen. The Hebrews included in the term goim or nations, all the tribes of men who had not received the true faith, and were not circumcised. The Christians translated goim by the L. gentes, and imitated the Jews in giving the name gentiles to all nations who were not Jews or Christians. In civil affairs, the denomination was given to all nations who were not Romans. Encyc.


Complaisance. [Not in use.] Hudibras.


Heathenish; pagan. Milton.


Heathenism; paganism; the worship of false gods. Stillingfleet.

GEN-TIL-I'TIOUS, a. [L. gentilitius, from gens.]

  1. Peculiar to a people or nation; national. Brown.
  2. Hereditary; entailed on a family. Arbuthnot.

GEN-TIL'I-TY, n. [Fr. gentilité, heathenism. So in Sp. and It. from the Latin; but we take the sense from genteel.]

  1. Politeness of manners; easy, graceful behavior; the manners of well bred people; genteelness.
  2. Good extraction; dignity of birth. Edward.
  3. Gracefulness of mien. Shak.
  4. Gentry. [Not in use.] Davies.
  5. Paganism; heathenism. [Not in use.] Hooker.


To live like a heathen. Milton.

GEN-TLE, a. [See Genteel.]

  1. Well born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble; as, the studies of noble and gentle youth; gentle blood. [Obs.] Milton. Pope.
  2. Mild; meek; soft; bland; not rough, harsh or severe; as, a gentle nature, temper, or disposition; a gentle manner; a gentle address; a gentle voice. 1 Thess. ii. 2 Tim. ii.
  3. Tame; peaceable; not wild, turbulent, or refractory; as, a gentle horse or beast.
  4. Soothing; pacific. Davies.
  5. Treating with mildness; not violent. A gentle hand may lead the elephant with a hair. Persian Rosary.


  1. A gentleman. [Obs.] Shak.
  2. A kind of worm. Walton.

GENTLE, v.t.

To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar. [Obs.] Shak.

GEN'TLE-FOLK, n. [gentle and folk.]

Persons of good breeding and family. It is now used only in the plural, gentlefolks, and this use is vulgar.

GEN'TLE-MAN, n. [gentle, that is, genteel, and man. So in Fr. gentilhomme, It. gentiluomo, Sp. gentilhombre. See Genteel.]

  1. In its most extensive sense, in Great Britain, every man above the rank of yeomen, comprehending noblemen; In a more limited sense, a man who without a title bears a coat of arms, or whose ancestors have been freemen. In this sense, gentlemen hold a middle rank between the nobility and yeomanry.
  2. In the United States, where titles and distinctions of rank do not exist, the term is applied to men of education and of good breeding, of every occupation. Indeed this is also the popular practice in Great Britain. Hence,
  3. A man of good breeding, politeness, and civil manners, as distinguished from the vulgar and clownish. A plowman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees. Franklin.
  4. A term of complaisance. In the plural, the appellation by which men are addressed in popular assemblies, whatever may be their condition or character.
  5. In Great Britain, the servant of a man of rank, who attends his person. Camden.


  1. Pertaining to or becoming a gentleman, or a man of good family and breeding; polite; complaisant; as, gentlemanly manners.
  2. Like a man of birth and good breeding; as, a gentlemanly officer.


Behavior of a well bred man. Sherwood.

GEN'TLE-NESS, n. [See Gentle.]

  1. Dignity of birth. [Little used.]
  2. Genteel behavior. [Obs.]
  3. Softness of manners; mildness of temper; sweetness of disposition; meekness. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Gal; v.
  4. Kindness; benevolence. [Obs.] Shak.
  5. Tenderness; mild treatment.


The deportment of a gentleman. [Obs.] Ascham.

GEN'TLE-WO-MAN, n. [gentle and woman.]

  1. A woman of good family or of good breeding; a woman above the vulgar.
  2. A woman who waits about the person of one of high rank.
  3. A term of civility to a female, sometimes ironical. Dryden.


Becoming a gentlewoman.

GEN'TLY, adv.

  1. Softly; meekly; mildly; with tenderness. My mistress gently chides the fault I made. Dryden.
  2. Without violence, roughness or asperity. Shak.

GEN-TOO', n. [Port. gentio, a gentile.]

A native of India or Hindoostan; one who follows the religion of the Bramins. [Not used in India.] Encyc.


  1. Birth; condition; rank by birth. Shak.
  2. People of education and good breeding. In Great Britain, the classes of people between the nobility and the vulgar.
  3. A term of civility; civility; complaisance. [Obs.]

GE-NU-FLEC'TION, n. [L. genu, the knee, and flectio, a bending.]

The act of bending the knee, particularly in worship. Stillingfleet.

GEN'U-INE, a. [L. genuinus, from genus, or its root. See Gender.]

Native; belonging to the original stock; hence, real; natural; true; pure; not spurious, false, or adulterated. The Gaels are supposed to be genuine descendants of the Celts. Vices and crimes are the genuine effects of depravity, as virtue and piety are the genuine fruits of holiness. It is supposed we have the genuine text of Homer.

GEN'U-INE-LY, adv.

Without adulteration or foreign admixture; naturally. Boyle.


The state of being native, or of the true original; hence, freedom from adulteration or foreign admixture; freedom from any thing false or counterfeit; purity; reality; as, the genuineness of Livy's history the genuineness of faith or repentance. [Bp. Watson, in his Apology for the Bible, considers authenticity and genuineness to be quite distinct, the former referring to the correctness of the facts detailed, and the latter to the authorship of the book containing them; while on the other hand they are used by Bishop Marsh as synonymous. – E. H. B.]