Old French gentil, jentil, etc. high-born, noble (modern French gentil elegant. Spanish gentil , Italian gentile < Latin gentīlis belonging to the same gens or race, < genti- , gens race, family. The sense ‘belonging to a good family’ common to the Romance tongues is not found in Latin.
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- 1: the quality or state of being gentle; especially : mildness of manners or disposition
Gentleness is a value and quality in one's character. Being gentle has a long history in many, but not all cultures. Gentleness plays a very important role in our lives.
The quality of gentleness is that of kindness, consideration and amiability. It is closely related to the Christian virtue of kindness.
Gentleness is one of the "fruits of the spirit" or defining noble characteristics of a Christian found in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law"
In medieval times, gentleness was seen as a refinement of character, associated with higher social classes hence the derivation of the terms gentleman, gentlewoman and gentry.