gentle vs lenify what difference

what is difference between gentle and lenify



From Middle English gentil (courteous, noble), from Old French gentil (high-born, noble), from Latin gentilis (of the same family or clan), from gens ([Roman] clan). Doublet of gentile and genteel.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdʒɛntl̩/
  • (General American) enPR: jĕn′tl, IPA(key): /ˈdʒɛntl̩/, [ˈd͡ʒɛ̃ɾ̃l̩]
  • Hyphenation: gen‧tle


gentle (comparative gentler or more gentle, superlative gentlest or most gentle)

  1. Tender and amiable; of a considerate or kindly disposition.
  2. Soft and mild rather than hard or severe.
  3. Docile and easily managed.
    a gentle horse
  4. Gradual rather than steep or sudden.
  5. Polite and respectful rather than rude.
  6. (archaic) Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.
    • 1823, Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak
      “You are of gentle blood,” she said []
    • 1893-1897, Charles Kendal Adams (editor), Johnsons Universal Encyclopedia
      British society is divided into nobility, gentry, and yeomanry, and families are either noble, gentle, or simple.


  • (polite): friendly, kind, polite, respectful


  • (polite): rude

Derived terms



gentle (third-person singular simple present gentles, present participle gentling, simple past and past participle gentled)

  1. (intransitive) to become gentle
    • 2013, Kathryn L.M. Reynolds, Garland Roses, Kathryn L.M. Reynolds (→ISBN), page 226
      “She’s experienced a horrific and nasty scare and is in a state of shock, but otherwise she’s relatively okay.” Conrad replied, his tone at first grim (as he recalled what he’d seen in the family room) and then it gentled to a more doctorial tone as he directed his next comments to his patient.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) to ennoble
    • c. 1599, Henry V, by Shakespeare, Act IV Scene III
      […] For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, / This day shall gentle his condition […]
  3. (transitive, animal husbandry) to break; to tame; to domesticate
    • 2008, Frank Leslie, The Killing Breed, Penguin (→ISBN)
      Yakima could have tried to catch him, gentle him as Wolf had been gentled, but having two stallions in his cavvy would lead to a different kind of trouble.
  4. (transitive) To soothe; to calm; to make gentle.
    • 1996, William C. Loring, An American Romantic-realist Abroad: Templeton Strong and His Music, Scarecrow Press (→ISBN), page 201
      A hornist, his playing gentled by perspective, is out of sight within the woods, but his notes are heard through or over the murmuring mix of bird song and breeze in leaves.


gentle (plural gentles)

  1. (archaic) A person of high birth.
    • 2012, Lizzie Stark, Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games, Chicago Review Press (→ISBN), page 43:
      While actual medieval societies were full of lots of peasants and a few rich and noble gentles, SCA personas tend to be nobles rather than commoners.
  2. (fishing) A maggot used as bait by anglers.
  3. A trained falcon, or falcon-gentil.



From Latin lenis (soft, mild) + -fy. Compare French lénifier. See lenition.


  • IPA(key): /ˈliːnɪfaɪ/, /ˈlɛnɪfaɪ/


lenify (third-person singular simple present lenifies, present participle lenifying, simple past and past participle lenified)

  1. (transitive) To assuage or mitigate; to soften.
    • And it is used for squinancies and inflammations in the throat ; whereby it seemeth to have a mollifying and lenifying virtue
    • These first infused, to lenify the pain
      He tugs with pincers, but he tugs in vain


  • Finley, finely

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