genteel


genteel
genteel
Its primary meaning is ‘affectedly or ostentatiously refined or stylish’, but it is often used ironically to mean ‘of or appropriate to the upper classes’.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Genteel — Gen*teel , a. [F. gentil noble, pretty, graceful. See {Gentle}.] 1. Possessing or exhibiting the qualities popularly regarded as belonging to high birth and breeding; free from vulgarity, or lowness of taste or behavior; adapted to a refined or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • genteel — 1590s, from M.Fr. gentil stylish, fashionable, elegant; nice, graceful, pleasing, from O.Fr. gentil high born, noble (11c.); a reborrowing of the French word that had early come into English as GENTLE (Cf. gentle) (q.v.), with French… …   Etymology dictionary

  • genteel — index civil (polite) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • genteel — [adj] sophisticated, cultured affected, aristocratic, artificial, chivalrous, civil, confined, courteous, courtly, cultivated, distingué, elegant, fashionable, formal, graceful, hollow, intolerant, la di da*, mannerly, noble, ostentatious,… …   New thesaurus

  • genteel — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ affectedly polite and refined. DERIVATIVES genteelly adverb. ORIGIN French gentil well born …   English terms dictionary

  • genteel — [jen tēl′] adj. [< Fr gentil (of same orig. as GENTLE & JAUNTY, but borrowed again in 16th c.)] 1. Old fashioned having or showing the good taste and refinement associated with polite society; elegant, fashionable, etc. 2. excessively or… …   English World dictionary

  • genteel — [[t]ʤenti͟ːl[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED A genteel person is respectable and well mannered, and comes or seems to come from a high social class. It was a place to which genteel families came in search of health and quiet. ...two maiden ladies with genteel …   English dictionary

  • genteel — UK [dʒenˈtiːl] / US [dʒenˈtɪl] adjective 1) a) typical of polite well educated people belonging to a high social class who have strict moral standards and are easily shocked by anything rude genteel manners b) lived in by rich polite people and… …   English dictionary

  • genteel — gen|teel [ dʒen til ] adjective 1. ) typical of polite people belonging to a high social class: genteel manners a ) lived in by rich polite people: a genteel seaside town 2. ) trying to appear as if you belong to a high social class ╾ gen|teel|ly …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • genteel — adjective Etymology: Middle French gentil gentle Date: 1599 1. a. having an aristocratic quality or flavor ; stylish b. of or relating to the gentry or upper class c. elegant or graceful in manner, appearance, or shape d. free from vulgarity or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary