Meaning of “gentle” in the English Dictionary

"gentle" in British English

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uk /ˈdʒen.təl/ us /ˈdʒen.t̬əl/

B1 calm, kind, or soft:

a gentle smile
He's very gentle with his kids.

B1 not violent, severe, or strong:

gentle exercise
a gentle breeze
You can actually accomplish a lot more by gentle persuasion.

C1 not steep or sudden:

The path has a gentle slope/gradient.

More examples

  • A bit of gentle coaxing is all that's required and he'll come, I'm sure.
  • He rocked the cradle with a gentle backwards and forwards motion.
  • The children rolled over and over down the gentle slope.
  • She was lulled to sleep by the gentle rhythm of the boat in the water.
  • Outside the flat, she could hear the gentle wash of the waves on the beach.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈdʒen.təl.nəs/ us /ˈdʒen.t̬əl.nəs/

the quality of being gentle

(Definition of “gentle” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"gentle" in American English

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us /ˈdʒen·təl/

calm, kind, or soft; not violent or severe:

a gentle smile
a gentle breeze
The path has a gentle (= gradual) slope.
noun [ U ] us /ˈdʒen·təl·nəs/
adverb us /ˈdʒent·li/

He gently lifted the baby out of the crib.

(Definition of “gentle” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)