Middle English Dictionary Entry

ǧentī̆l adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Of noble rank or birth, belonging to the gentry, noble; -- often implying character or manners befitting one of gentle birth; -- also used of Christ; sup. the gentileste, the noblest, the noblest men; (b) ~ blod, noble ancestry; also, persons of noble ancestry; ~ boren, high born; ~ hous, a noble family; ~ kinrede, noble stock or family; ~ name, an illustrious name.
(a) Having the character or manners prescribed by the ideals of chivalry or Christianity; noble, kind, gracious, etc.; (b) courteous, polite, well-bred, charming; graceful, beautiful, handsome; (c) used ironically.
(a) Belonging to a person of rank; also, suitable to a nobleman; noble, gracious, refined, graceful, beautiful; ~ herte, ~ bodi, ~ face, ~ hond, etc.; (b) of animals, birds, bees, fish: of excellent breed or kind; superior, excellent, fine; (c) of things: excellent, superior; ~ clei (wose), superior clay (muck); (d) of qualities, actions, words, behavior: noble, gracious, kind, generous; ~ to heren, delightful to hear.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (a1470) Malory Wks.(Win-C)62/66 : He muste be a clene knyght withoute vylony and of jantill strene of fadir syde and of modir syde.
  • Note: Not needed 1.(a)
    Note: ?Phr. for 1.(b)