gentle


gentle
gentle
The phrase the gentle art, which was used with clever irony by the American painter James McNeill Whistler in his title The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (1890), had already become a cliché by the time Fowler wrote (1926). As well as being used allusively in titles, e.g. The Gentle Art of Singing (1927), it occurs in general contexts:

• Grant took full advantage of the lunchtime lull in traffic, and in derestricted areas excelled himself in the gentle art of speed with safety —Josephine Tey, 1936

• Hype is an American word for the gentle art of getting a tune into the pop charts without actually selling any records —Sunday Times, 1968.

• There's a gentle art to Indian cooking but it doesn't have to be labour-intensive —Observer, 2006.

The gentle art is also an affectionate name for the sport of angling.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gentle — Gen tle, a. [Compar. {Gentler}; superl. {Gentlest}.] [OE. gentil, F. gentil noble, pretty, graceful, fr. L. gentilis of the same clan or race, fr. gens, gentis, tribe, clan, race, orig. that which belongs together by birth, fr. the root of genere …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gentle — [jent′ l] adj. gentler, gentlest [ME gentil < OFr, of noble birth < L gentilis, of the same gens (in LL, of a good family) < gens: see GENS] 1. belonging to the upper classes or polite society 2. like or suitable to polite society;… …   English World dictionary

  • gentle — [adj1] having a mild or kind nature affable, agreeable, amiable, benign, biddable, bland, compassionate, considerate, cool*, cultivated, disciplined, docile, domesticated, dovelike*, easy, genial, humane, kindly, laid back*, lenient, manageable,… …   New thesaurus

  • Gentle — Gent le, v. t. 1. To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To make smooth, cozy, or agreeable. [R. or Poet.] [1913 Webster] To gentle life s descent, We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain. Young.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gentle — may refer to: *Gentleness *Gentleman *Gentle (comics) …   Wikipedia

  • Gentle — Gen tle, n. 1. One well born; a gentleman. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Gentles, methinks you frown. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A trained falcon. See {Falcon gentil}. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zo[ o]l.) A dipterous larva used as fish bait. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gentle — index harmless, lenient, nonmilitant, peaceable, placid Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • gentle — (adj.) early 13c., well born, from O.Fr. gentil high born, noble, of good family (11c., in Modern French nice, graceful, pleasing; fine pretty ), from L. gentilis of the same family or clan, from gens (gen. gentis) race, clan, from root of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • gentle — *soft, mild, smooth, lenient, bland, balmy Analogous words: *moderate, temperate: *pleasant, agreeable, grateful, pleasing, welcome: *calm, tranquil, serene, placid, peaceful, halcyon Antonyms: rough, harsh Contrasted words: vehement, intense,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • gentle — ► ADJECTIVE (gentler, gentlest) 1) mild or kind; not rough or violent. 2) not harsh or severe. 3) archaic noble or courteous. DERIVATIVES gentleness noun gently adverb …   English terms dictionary


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