Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “genteel”

genteel

adjective     /dʒenˈtiːl/
typical of a high social class : a genteel old lady The mansion had an atmosphere of genteel elegance and decay .Class and class-consciousness in generalWealthiness and wealthyPoverty and poor being very polite , or trying too hard to seem of a higher social class than you really are: He took elocution lessons to try to make his accent sound more genteel.Manners and levels of formalityPolite and respectful calm and gentle : The game seemed to be a more genteel version of American football .Calm and relaxed genteelly     /-li/ adverb She tittered genteelly.Manners and levels of formalityPolite and respectful
(Definition of genteel adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of genteel

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Calm and relaxed, but you might be interested in these topics from the Calm and quiet topic area:

Definitions of “genteel” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

amicable

relating to behaviour between people that is pleasant and friendly, often despite a difficult situation

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More