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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.

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genteel (adj) polite and well-mannered.

A genteel person talks and behaves in a polite and quiet manner because they are, or because they want people to think that they are cultured and belong to a socially high class. When a person is from, or more often pretends to be from, a high class in society, they are genteel. When you are over polite, over gentle, in a rather unnatural manner you are genteel. A genteel locality is an area where socially high class people live - rather calm and quiet, so to some extent boring.

  • Susan tries to appear genteel in her behavior and speech, but when she is off-guard, her accent exposes her real background as the daughter of a working class couple.
  • Herman often throws parties to which he invites the wealthy and the influential, just to be treated as a member of the genteel society of the city.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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