Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Gentian (jĕn"sh a n or - shĭ* a n) noun [ Middle English genciane , French gentiane , Latin gentiana , from Gentius , an Illyrian king, said to have discovered its properties.] (Botany) Any one of a genus ( Gentiana ) of herbaceous plants with opposite leaves and a tubular four- or five-lobed corolla, usually blue, but sometimes white, yellow, or red. See Illust. of Capsule .

» Many species are found on the highest mountains of Europe, Asia, and America, and some are prized for their beauty, as the Alpine ( Gentiana verna , Bavarica , and excisa ), and the American fringed gentians ( G. crinita and G. detonsa ). Several are used as tonics, especially the bitter roots of Gentiana lutea , the officinal gentian of the pharmacopœias.

Horse gentian , fever root. -- Yellow gentian (Botany) , the officinal gentian ( Gentiana lutea ). See Bitterwort .

Gentianaceous adjective (Botany) Of or pertaining to a natural order of plants ( Gentianaceæ ) of which the gentian is the type.

Gentianella noun [ See Gentian .] A kind of blue color. Johnson.

Gentianic adjective Pertaining to or derived from the gentian; as, gentianic acid.

Gentianine noun (Chemistry) A bitter, crystallizable substance obtained from gentian.

Gentianose noun (Chemistry) A crystallizable, sugarlike substance, with a slightly sweetish taste, obtained from the gentian.

Gentil adjective & noun Gentle. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Gentile (jĕn"tīl) noun [ Latin gentilis belonging to the same clan, stock, race, people, or nation; in opposition to Roman , a foreigner; in opposition to Jew or Christian , a heathen: confer French gentil . See Gentle , adjective ] One of a non-Jewish nation; one neither a Jew nor a Christian; a worshiper of false gods; a heathen.

» The Hebrews included in the term gōyim , or nations, all the tribes of men who had not received the true faith, and were not circumcised. The Christians translated gōyim by the Latin gentes , and imitated the Jews in giving the name gentiles to all nations who were neither Jews nor Christians. In civil affairs, the denomination was given to all nations who were not Romans.

Syn. -- Pagan; heathen. See Pagan .

Gentile adjective
1. Belonging to the nations at large, as distinguished from the Jews ; ethnic; of pagan or heathen people.

2. (Gram.) Denoting a race or country; as, a gentile noun or adjective.

Gentile-falcon noun (Zoology) See Falcon-gentil .

Gentilesse noun [ Old French gentilesse , gentelise , French gentillesse . See Gentle . adjective ] Gentleness; courtesy; kindness; nobility. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Gentilish adjective Heathenish; pagan.

Gentilism noun [ Confer French gentilisme .]


1. Hethenism; paganism; the worship of false gods.

2. Tribal feeling; devotion to one's gens .

Gentilitial, Gentilitious adjective [ Latin gentilitius . See Gentile .] [ Obsolete]


1. Peculiar to a people; national. Sir T. Browne.

2. Hereditary; entailed on a family. Arbuthnot.

Gentility noun [ Latin gentilitas the relationship of those who belong to the same clan, also, heathenism: confer French gentilité heathenism. See Gentile .]


1. Good extraction; dignity of birth. Macaulay.

He . . . mines my gentility with my education.
Shak.

2. The quality or qualities appropriate to those who are well born, as self-respect, dignity, courage, courtesy, politeness of manner, a graceful and easy mien and behavior, etc.; good breeding.

3. The class in society who are, or are expected to be, genteel; the gentry. [ R.] Sir J. Davies.

4. Paganism; heathenism. [ Obsolete] Hooker.

Gentilize intransitive verb [ See Gentile .]


1. To live like a gentile or heathen. [ Obsolete] Milton.

2. To act the gentleman; -- with it (see It , 5). [ Obsolete]

Gentilize intransitive verb To render gentile or gentlemanly; as, to gentilize your unworthy sones. [ R.] Sylvester.

Gentilly adverb [ From Gentil , adjective ] In a gentle or hoble manner; frankly. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Gentiopikrin noun [ Gentian + Greek ... bitter.] (Chemistry) A bitter, yellow, crystalline substance, regarded as a glucoside, and obtained from the gentian.

Gentisin noun (Chemistry) A tasteless, yellow, crystalline substance, obtained from the gentian; -- called also gentianin .

Gentle adjective [ Compar. Gentler ; superl. Gentlest .] [ Middle English gentil , French gentil noble, pretty, graceful, from Latin gentilis of the same clan or race, from gens , gentis , tribe, clan, race, orig. that which belongs together by birth, from the root of genere , gignere , to beget; hence gentle , properly, of birth or family, that is, of good or noble birth. See Gender , and confer Genteel , Gentil , Gentile , Gentoo , Jaunty .]
1. Well-born; of a good family or respectable birth, though not noble.

British society is divided into nobility, gentry, and yeomanry, and families are either noble, gentle , or simple.
Johnson's Cyc.

The studies wherein our noble and gentle youth ought to bestow their time.
Milton.

2. Quiet and refined in manners; not rough, harsh, or stern; mild; meek; bland; amiable; tender; as, a gentle nature, temper, or disposition; a gentle manner; a gentle address; a gentle voice.

3. A compellative of respect, consideration, or conciliation; as, gentle reader. " Gentle sirs." " Gentle Jew." " Gentle servant." Shak.

4. Not wild, turbulent, or refractory; quiet and docile; tame; peaceable; as, a gentle horse.

5. Soft; not violent or rough; not strong, loud, or disturbing; easy; soothing; pacific; as, a gentle touch; a gentle gallop . " Gentle music." Sir J. Davies.

O sleep! it is a gentle thing.
Coleridge.

The gentle craft , the art or trade of shoemaking.

Syn. -- Mild; meek; placid; dovelike; quiet; peaceful; pacific; bland; soft; tame; tractable; docile. -- Gentle , Tame , Mild , Meek . Gentle describes the natural disposition; tame , that which is subdued by training; mild implies a temper which is, by nature, not easily provoked; meek , a spirit which has been schooled to mildness by discipline or suffering. The lamb is gentle ; the domestic fowl is tame ; John, the Apostle, was mild ; Moses was meek .

Gentle noun
1. One well born; a gentleman. [ Obsolete]

Gentles , methinks you frown.
Shak.

2. A trained falcon. See Falcon- gentil .

3. (Zoology) A dipterous larva used as fish bait.

Gentle transitive verb
1. To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble. [ Obsolete] Shak.

2. To make smooth, cozy, or agreeable. [ R. or Poet.]

To gentle life's descent,
We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain.
Young.

3. To make kind and docile, as a horse. [ Colloq.]

Gentle-hearted adjective Having a kind or gentle disposition. Shak. -- Gen"tle- heart`ed*ness , noun

Gentlefolk, Gentlefolks noun plural Persons of gentle or good family and breeding. [ Generally in the United States in the plural form.] Shak.

Gentleman noun ; plural Gentlemen . [ Middle English gentilman nobleman; gentil noble + man man; confer French gentilhomme .]


1. A man well born; one of good family; one above the condition of a yeoman.

2. One of gentle or refined manners; a well- bred man.

3. (Her.) One who bears arms, but has no title.

4. The servant of a man of rank.

The count's gentleman , one Cesario.
Shak.

5. A man, irrespective of condition; -- used esp. in the plural (= citizens; people), in addressing men in popular assemblies, etc.

» In Great Britain, the term gentleman is applied in a limited sense to those having coats of arms, but who are without a title, and, in this sense, gentlemen hold a middle rank between the nobility and yeomanry. In a more extended sense, it includes every man above the rank of yeoman, comprehending the nobility. In the United States, the term is applied to men of education and good breeding of every occupation.

Gentleman commoner , one of the highest class of commoners at the University of Oxford. -- Gentleman usher , one who ushers visitors into the presence of a sovereign, etc. -- Gentleman usher of the black rod , an usher belonging to the Order of the Garter, whose chief duty is to serve as official messenger of the House of Lords. -- Gentlemen-at-arms , a band of forty gentlemen who attend the sovereign on state occasions; formerly called gentlemen pensioners . [ Eng.]

Gentlemanhood noun The qualities or condition of a gentleman. [ R.] Thackeray.

Gentlemanlike, Gentlemanly adjective Of, pertaining to, resembling, or becoming, a gentleman; well-behaved; courteous; polite.

Gentlemanliness noun The state of being gentlemanly; gentlemanly conduct or manners.

Gentlemanship noun The carriage or quality of a gentleman.

Gentlemen's agreement An agreement binding only as a matter of honor; often, specif., such an agreement among the heads of industrial or merchantile enterprises, the terms of which could not be included and enforced in a legal contract.

Gentleness noun The quality or state of being gentle, well-born, mild, benevolent, docile, etc.; gentility; softness of manners, disposition, etc.; mildness.

Gentleship noun The deportment or conduct of a gentleman. [ Obsolete] Ascham.

Gentlesse noun Gentilesse; gentleness. [ Obsolete]

Gentlewoman noun ; plural Gentlewomen


1. A woman of good family or of good breeding; a woman above the vulgar. Bacon.

2. A woman who attends a lady of high rank. Shak.

Gently adverb In a gentle manner.

My mistress gently chides the fault I made.
Dryden.

Gentoo noun ; plural Gentoos . [ Portuguese gentio gentile, heathen. See Gentile .] A native of Hindostan; a Hindoo. [ Archaic]

Gentoo (jĕn*tō") noun ; plural Gentoos (-tōz"). A penguin ( Pygosceles tæniata ). [ Falkland Is.]

Gentry noun [ Middle English genterie , gentrie , noble birth, nobility, confer gentrise , and Old French gentelise , genterise , English gentilesse , also Middle English genteleri high-mindedness. See Gent , adjective , Gentle , adjective ]
1. Birth; condition; rank by birth. [ Obsolete] "Pride of gentrie ." Chaucer.

She conquers him by high almighty Jove,
By knighthood, gentry , and sweet friendship's oath.
Shak.

2. People of education and good breeding; in England, in a restricted sense, those between the nobility and the yeomanry. Macaulay.

3. Courtesy; civility; complaisance. [ Obsolete]

To show us so much gentry and good will.
Shak.

Genty adjective [ From French gentil . Confer Jaunty .] Neat; trim. [ Scot.] Burns.

Genu noun ; plural Genua . [ Latin , the knee.] (Anat.) (a) The knee. (b) The kneelike bend, in the anterior part of the callosum of the brain.

Genuflect intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Genuflected ; present participle & verbal noun Genuflecting .] [ See Genuflection .] To bend the knee, as in worship.

Genuflection noun [ French génuflexion , from Late Latin genuflexio , from Latin genu knee + flexio a bending, from flectere , flexum , to bend. See Knee , Flexible .] The act of bending the knee, particularly in worship. Bp. Stillingfleet.

Genuine adjective [ Latin genuinus , from genere , gignere , to beget, in pass., to be born: confer French génuine . See Gender .] Belonging to, or proceeding from, the original stock; native; hence, not counterfeit, spurious, false, or adulterated; authentic; real; natural; true; pure; as, a genuine text; a genuine production; genuine materials. "True, genuine night." Dryden.

Syn. -- Authentic; real; true; pure; unalloyed; unadulterated. See Authentic .

-- Gen"u*ine*ly , adverb -- Gen"u*ine*ness , noun

The evidence, both internal and external, against the genuineness of these letters, is overwhelming.
Macaulay.

Genus (jē"nŭs) noun ; plural Genera . [ Latin , birth, race, kind, sort; akin to Greek .... See Gender , and confer Benign .]


1. (Logic) A class of objects divided into several subordinate species; a class more extensive than a species; a precisely defined and exactly divided class; one of the five predicable conceptions, or sorts of terms.

2. (Biol.) An assemblage of species, having so many fundamental points of structure in common, that in the judgment of competent scientists, they may receive a common substantive name. A genus is not necessarily the lowest definable group of species, for it may often be divided into several subgenera. In proportion as its definition is exact, it is natural genus; if its definition can not be made clear, it is more or less an artificial genus.

» Thus in the animal kingdom the lion, leopard, tiger, cat, and panther are species of the Cat kind or genus, while in the vegetable kingdom all the species of oak form a single genus. Some genera are represented by a multitude of species, as Solanum ( Nightshade ) and Carex ( Sedge ), others by few, and some by only one known species.

Subaltern genus (Logic) , a genus which may be a species of a higher genus, as the genus denoted by quadruped , which is also a species of mammal . -- Summum genus [ Latin ] (Logic) , the highest genus; a genus which can not be classed as a species, as being .

Genys (jē"nĭs) noun [ New Latin , from Greek ge`nys the under jaw.] (Zoology) See Gonys .

Geocentric, Geocentrical adjective [ Greek ge`a , gh^ , the earth + ke`ntron center: confer French géocentrique .] (Astron.) (a) Having reference to the earth as center; in relation to or seen from the earth, -- usually opposed to heliocentric , as seen from the sun; as, the geocentric longitude or latitude of a planet. (b) Having reference to the center of the earth.

Geocentric latitude (of place) the angle included between the radius of the earth through the place and the plane of the equator, in distinction from geographic latitude. It is a little less than the geographic latitude.

Geocentrically adverb In a geocentric manner.

Geochemistry (jē`o*kĕm"ĭs*trȳ) noun [ Greek ge`a , gh^ , the earth + chemistry .] The study of the chemical composition of, and of actual or possible chemical changes in, the crust of the earth. -- Ge`o*chem"ic*al adjective -- Ge`o*chem"ist noun