belonging or suited to polite society.
well-bred or refined; polite; elegant; stylish.
affectedly or pretentiously polite, delicate, etc.
affectedly proper or refined; excessively polite
respectable, polite, and well-bred: a genteel old lady
appropriate to polite or fashionable society: genteel behaviour
1590s, from Middle French gentil “stylish, fashionable, elegant; nice, graceful, pleasing,” from Old French gentil “high-born, noble” (11c.); a reborrowing of the French word that had early come into English as gentle (q.v.), with French pronunciation and stress preserved to emphasize the distinction. Cf. also jaunty; gentile. OED 2nd ed. reports genteel “is now used, except by the ignorant, only in mockery” (a development it dates from the 1840s).
[jent] /dʒɛnt/ adjective, Obsolete. 1. elegant; graceful. /dʒɛnt/ noun 1. (informal) short for gentleman /xɛnt/ noun 1. the Flemish name for Ghent n. short for gentleman, by 17c. (in early uses it is difficult to distinguish the shortening from the common abbreviation gent.). “Early in the nineteenth century the word was colloquial and slightly jocular; […]
[jen-shuh n] /ˈdʒɛn ʃən/ noun 1. any of several plants of the genera Gentiana, Gentianella, and Gentianopsis, having usually blue, or sometimes yellow, white, or red, flowers, as the fringed gentian of North America, or Gentiana lutea, of Europe. Compare . 2. any of various plants resembling the gentian. 3. the root of G. lutea, […]
[jen-shee-uh-ney-shuh s] /ˌdʒɛn ʃi əˈneɪ ʃəs/ adjective 1. belonging to the plant family Gentianaceae. /ˌdʒɛnʃɪəˈneɪʃəs/ adjective 1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Gentianaceae, a family of flowering plants that includes centaury, felwort, and gentian
- Gentian blue