Main definitions of gentle in English

: gentle1gentle2

gentle1

adjective

  • 1Having or showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character.

    ‘a gentle, sensitive man’
    ‘her gentle voice’
    • ‘They were a dedicated group of nice, intelligent and gentle people, as opposed to the grizzly war-loving soldiers I expected.’
    • ‘The beloved is portrayed as gentle, sensitive, tender and compassionate.’
    • ‘He is exposed as a complex character, gentle, understanding, patient and loving in private.’
    • ‘Kind and gentle in his manner, John had a smile for everyone.’
    • ‘Kind and gentle in his manner always, he spent his life caring for others and never thinking of self.’
    • ‘By nature, he was gentle and mild, but he now mustered up his courage to take a step that was necessary.’
    • ‘She was gentle and supportive, and these were qualities which carried over in to her work at the family centre.’
    • ‘May was a gentle person who retained a well balanced perspective on life throughout her long years.’
    • ‘I respect her, she seems like a kind and gentle person.’
    • ‘A pleasant, good natured and gentle person, Una's caring qualities were always to the fore.’
    • ‘I am amazed how gentle he is with the youngest child who is four.’
    • ‘Harmeet is the kindest, most compassionate, humble and gentle soul I have ever met.’
    • ‘Barbara was a very, very gentle person, but she was not bashful about expressing her point of view.’
    • ‘Ben has many qualities: he is gentle, fun and brave.’
    • ‘They were gentle people who went quietly about their lives, always willing and glad to be able to lend a helping hand to neighbours and friends.’
    • ‘In person, she is gentle, candid and softly spoken.’
    • ‘Is this what gentle, tender young guys can expect from their future?’
    • ‘The minister, though gentle in character, is firm of purpose.’
    • ‘It still surprised her that a part of Arlan could be so gentle and tender, that he wasn't all the hard exterior he seemed to be.’
    • ‘In person he is gentle and friendly, and wouldn't think of putting you on, perhaps because Miller isn't yet accustomed to being interviewed.’
    kind, kindly, tender, benign, humane, lenient, merciful, forgiving, forbearing, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, clement, compassionate, benevolent, kind-hearted, tender-hearted, good-natured, sweet-tempered, loving
    View synonyms
  • 2Moderate in action, effect, or degree; not strong or violent.

    ‘take some gentle exercise’
    ‘a gentle breeze’
    • ‘One more gentle squeeze on his arm, and Jim rose and left the room.’
    • ‘He leaned towards her, pulled her close and gave her a gentle kiss.’
    • ‘The long grass ripple like the ocean waves under the surprisingly gentle sea breeze.’
    • ‘A cleanser, astringent, gentle abrasive and mild bleaching agent, baking soda is a true all-purpose beauty aid.’
    • ‘Cleansing routines should be consistently followed twice a day to include a mild soap, a gentle scrub and a deep pore cleanser.’
    • ‘Yet the softness of the edges of the silhouettes and the equal softness of the charcoal surfaces produce a soothing, gentle effect.’
    • ‘Birds called in the distance, and a gentle breeze was rustling the leaves.’
    • ‘His voice was so gentle, and yet so firm as well.’
    • ‘He shrugged and gave the the same gentle smile as before and pulled me into a hug.’
    • ‘They respond well to gentle stewing or simmering.’
    • ‘His tone was gentle and solicitous, but Miguel didn't trust it.’
    • ‘Just before I pass out, strong yet gentle arms pick me up.’
    • ‘You can also employ gentle persuasion and subtlety to excellent effect.’
    • ‘Noncirculating air feels up to 9 degrees warmer than the gentle air circulation from a ceiling fan.’
    • ‘The lesson here for websites providing subscriptions is that if you must use ‘gentle reminders’ make sure they are actually gentle.’
    • ‘But, with a surprisingly gentle touch, she brushes his hair away from his forehead.’
    • ‘But, remember to be very gentle, babies are quite fragile.’
    • ‘Acceptance is the tender and gentle process of opening our hearts to others, to ourselves, and to our common ground of suffering.’
    • ‘He knew that he would always be very gentle with her.’
    • ‘Slowly Nathan brought his head down, stealing her lips in a gentle kiss.’
    light, soft, zephyr-like, moderate, pleasant
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a slope) gradual.
      ‘a gentle embankment’
      • ‘Wandering down the gentle slope to the lake we put last week into perspective and start thinking next week will probably turn out reasonably OK.’
      • ‘Mel was clambering down a gentle slope, loosening bits of rocks and soil, towards what he supposed was the Cobalt River.’
      • ‘These sediments accumulate to form the large, gentle slope of the continental rise.’
      • ‘In the summer, they nest along stream bottoms and areas with gentle slopes.’
      • ‘In areas where spring frosts threaten developing buds and flowers, plant where air drainage is adequate, such as midway down a gentle slope.’
      • ‘Along the gentle slope of the mountains, the quarry stretched across an exposed cliff face.’
      • ‘The new trail rounds the curve out more, and at the same time provides a slightly more gentle slope.’
      • ‘The south slope is more gentle and ends in a marshy bay.’
      • ‘First, the lake's shallow swimming area was excavated, creating a gentle slope to a depth of four feet.’
      • ‘The first part of the hill was quite easy - a gentle slope that flattened off into a brief plateau.’
      • ‘Geologically, the Cotswolds were created from a large block of oolitic limestone tilting up at its western end to form today's escarpment, with a gentle slope tilting to the east.’
      • ‘He had always been nervous during swimming lessons at our local pool, but the wave pool had a gentle slope and was shallow for more than half its length.’
      • ‘Beside our chalet, for example, was a gentle slope that proved perfect for bum-boarding.’
      • ‘They were doing it the easy way round - gentle slope followed by breakneck descent, but it was clearly regarded as a children-friendly route.’
      • ‘Close to the beginners meadow are gentle slopes, which become imperceptibly steeper, enabling you to improve without fear.’
      • ‘This is an area long valued as well-drained farming land, being a gentle slope, and underneath limestone.’
      • ‘One is that obviously you want to drive on fairly gentle slopes.’
      • ‘The sea-floor has been described as extraordinary flat and exhibiting a very gentle slope towards the shore of an almost level land.’
      • ‘The hole was about eighteen feet across and lay just over the rim of a low hill that rose in a long gentle slope from the side of our farm.’
      • ‘You can pole across the main street to the start of a gentle slope that leads to the chairlifts, from which the whole, huge area is accessible.’
      gradual, slight, easy, imperceptible
      View synonyms
  • 3archaic (of a person) noble or having the qualities attributed to noble birth; courteous and chivalrous.

    • ‘She could be described as a refined, gentle lady, with admirable intellectual qualities.’
    • ‘My dinner guests were gentle people with refined sensibilities.’
    • ‘Tennis is the game of the gentle people, the game so prim, so historical… so deranged.’

verb

  • 1Make or become gentle.

    no object ‘Cobb's tone gentled a little’
    • ‘Jesse gentled his grip but his eyes remained hard as they scanned over Joel's injuries.’
    • ‘The journey back wasn't half as bad as the one up and soon the harshness of the landscape was gentled with green.’
    • ‘His face gentled, and he touched his forehead to the other's.’
    • ‘That crisp moon was so beautiful, so sublime, so utterly perfect, that it ordered my thoughts and gentled me into a deep rest till morning.’
    • ‘The hands that held her upper arms gentled, though they did not relinquish their hold.’
    • ‘He grabbed the side of her face, and gentled the kiss, as if she were a fragile piece of glass.’
    • ‘‘Sorry’ he said gentling his touch a bit when he heard her gasp.’
    • ‘When the rain gentled, it was like softly flowing tears that seemed to be steaming in the half-light, falling on dimly glowing skin and turning to nothing more than morning mist.’
    • ‘She was exhausted, her eyelids seemed to be made of lead, and her rump was sore from the long ride, gentled though it had been by the magic that masked their flight.’
    • ‘He rubbed her chest, and gentled her, encouraging: ‘That's good, mate.’’
    • ‘We waited till after tea, when the fierce sun of the afternoon had gentled into a golden glow.’
    • ‘Clark's voice is reminiscent of Matt Mays gentled down a bit.’
    • ‘She quickly assessed the young man, the pallor of the police officer's face and gentled her tone as she asked, ‘Can you tell me what you saw, please?’’
    • ‘She gentled the kiss, kissing him back softly, slowly, until his rage had melted away.’
    • ‘The sun laid the previous day to rest, and gentled the fears of the night.’
    • ‘His fingers tightened on her arm painfully, and gentled at her involuntary hiss.’
    • ‘He looked to the sky and calmed the storm, gentling the wind and made the snow fall thinner.’
    • ‘He gave me an apologetic smile; the arms around me instantly gentled and he took a small step away from me.’
    • ‘It gentles our character as a whole, rendering us more patient and respectful toward others, more attentive to and interested in people's thoughts and feelings.’
    • ‘Thus, we noticed that the no-nonsense lines of the building have been gentled by a topiary maze in the foreground.’
    1. 1.1with object Touch (a person or animal) gently, typically in order to make them calmer or more docile.
      • ‘They had her gentled at a trainer's farm and then they kept her for a few years as a simple backyard riding pony.’
      • ‘The remarkableness of this accomplishment was that Smith also gentled these horses with a broken foot in a cast.’
      • ‘In my early training days, I was taught that the first thing a real trainer did was to gentle a horse.’
      • ‘He once worked in a clinic in Lenexa with western Quarter Horses never touched and gentled two horses.’
      • ‘Do gentled and trained mustangs serve a useful purpose?’
      • ‘You gentled him, taught him to lead, broke him, and everything.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French gentil ‘high-born, noble’, from Latin gentilis ‘of the same clan’ (see gentile). The original sense was ‘nobly born’, hence ‘courteous, chivalrous’, later ‘mild, moderate in action or disposition’ (mid 16th century).

Pronunciation

gentle

/ˈdʒɛnt(ə)l/

Main definitions of gentle in English

: gentle1gentle2

gentle2

noun

Fishing
  • A maggot, especially the larva of a blowfly, used as bait.

    • ‘The best fish reported to me was a barbel of 12-8 - on swim feeder rig and gentles as bait on a size ten hook.’
    • ‘Chub are the number one species at the moment with swim feeder rig and gentles being the top way of fishing.’
    • ‘Some of the deeper slower water by the golf course and downstream is best fished with swim feeder rig using hemp as an attractor with gentles or casters as hook bait.’
    • ‘Mike's fish was caught on a size 12 hook baited with gentles.’
    • ‘Many anglers use pellets, boilies, gentles, casters and various flavoured paste baits, but for me it's bread.’

Origin

Late 16th century: probably from an obsolete sense of the adjective, ‘soft, pliant’.

Pronunciation

gentle

/ˈdʒɛnt(ə)l/