First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Gentle

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Gentle mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Gentle

User Submitted Meanings

  • A submission from Trinidad and Tobago says the name Gentle means "To go softly" and is of Muslim origin.
Other origins: English

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Gen"tle
  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 GentleJew."" Gentleservant." [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 ." Gentlemusic." [Sir J. Davies.]"O sleep! it is a gentle thing." [Coleridge.]
    synonyms: Mild; meek; placid; dovelike; quiet; peaceful; pacific; bland; soft; tame; tractable; docile.

Usage: 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.

Etymology: 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 gignere, to beget; hence gentle, properly, of birth or family, that is, of good or noble birth. See Gender, and cf. Genteel Gentil Gentile Gentoo Jaunty

noun Gen"tle
  1. One well born; a gentleman.(Obs)" Gentles, methinks you frown." [Shak.]
  2. A trained falcon. See Falcon-gentil.
  3. [Zoöl] A dipterous larva used as fish bait.
verb Gent"le
  1. To make genteel; to raise from the vulgar; to ennoble.(Obs)
  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)
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Stroke soothingly
  2. Cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of
  3. Give a title to someone; make someone a member of the nobility
  4. Marked by moderate steepness ("a gentle slope")
  5. Having little impact ("gentle rain" and "a gentle breeze")
  6. Having or showing a kindly or tender nature ("the gentle touch of her hand", "her gentle manner was comforting", "a gentle sensitive nature", and "gentle blue eyes")
  7. Quiet and soothing ("a gentle voice" and "a gentle nocturne")
  8. Soft and mild; not harsh or stern or severe ("a gentle reprimand", "a vein of gentle irony", and "poked gentle fun at him")
  9. Belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy ("of gentle blood")
  10. Easily handled or managed ("a gentle old horse, docile and obedient")

From Middle English gentil (“courteous, noble”), from Old French gentil (“high-born, noble”), from Latin gentilis (“of the same family or clan”), from gens (“[Roman] clan”)

  1. (archaic) A person of high birth.
  2. (archaic) A maggot used as bait by anglers
  3. A trained falcon, or falcon-gentil.

Notable Persons Named Gentle

Gentle Bones is a visual music, folk rock, and independent music musician. He was most prominent from 2012 to present. Gentle was given the name Joel Tan on March 23rd, 1994 in Singapore.


Gentle is a comics character.



Gentle was born on August 19th, 1973.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Gentle

Gentle is a comics character.


Johnny Gentle is a musician. His career lasted from 1959 to 1960. Johnny was given the name John Askew on December 8th, 1936 in Liverpool, England. Johnny is also known as Darren Young.


Lili Gentle is an actress. Lili was born on March 4th, 1940 in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.


Gordon was born in 1985. He passed away in 2004.


James Gentle was a soccer player for the University of Pennsylvania, Boston Soccer Club, Philadelphia Field Club, and United States men's national soccer team. James was born on July 21st, 1904 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He passed away on May 22nd, 1986.


William was born in 1865. He breathed his last breath on September 2nd, 1948.


Where is the name Gentle popular?

View popular names by state or region.

Popularity of Gentle as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Gentle as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Alabama, California, or North Carolina.

Common last names for Gentle

  • Williams
  • Smith

Common first names for Gentle

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Gentle U.S.
  White 68.32% 64.26%
  African American 23.96% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.93% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.89% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.67% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 4.23% 16.26%

Of Last Name Gentle

People with the last name Gentle are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Gentle

  • How Popular is the name Gentle? Gentle is the 26,819th most popular name of all time. As a last name Gentle was the 11,627th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Gentle have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 201 babies born with the first name Gentle in the United States. That's more than enough people named Gentle to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Gentle? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1913 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Gentle first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Gentle is Thursday, August 15th, 1872.
  • What year had the most people named Gentle born? The highest recorded use of the first name Gentle was in 1918 with a total of 13 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Gentle: Your name in reverse order is Eltneg. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Lgntee. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Gentle? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 2,696 people with the last name Gentle.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Gentle? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Gentle as their last name since less than 1 person in 110k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Gentles Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Gentle

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Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.