gentleness

Gentleness is the quality of being kind and careful. Your gentleness with a frightened stray dog will eventually convince her to let you feed and pet her.

The noun gentleness is perfect for describing the way someone acts when they are soft and calm and sweet to other people. A good kindergarten teacher speaks to his students with gentleness, and your favorite dentist might be one who treats you with gentleness. The original meaning, from around 1300, was "inherited nature," but by the 1600s it had come to mean "freedom from harshness and violence," with the Latin root gentilis, "of the same family or clan."

Definitions of gentleness
  1. noun
    acting in a manner that is gentle and mild and even-tempered
    “his fingers have learned gentleness
    synonyms: mildness, softness
    see moresee less
    type of:
    manner, personal manner
    a way of acting or behaving
  2. noun
    the property possessed by a slope that is very gradual
    synonyms: gradualness
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    abruptness, precipitousness, steepness
    the property possessed by a slope that is very steep
    type of:
    gradient, slope
    the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the horizontal
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week