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Gentle reader

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Gentle reader courteous reader, an old-fashioned phrase common in the prefaces of books
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. gentilis. See Genteel.

Usage

In literature:

The reader must not think this suggestion inconsistent with the character of one whom we have described as gentle and sweet.
"The Pirate City" by R.M. Ballantyne
Do not misunderstand us, gentle reader.
"The Lifeboat" by R.M. Ballantyne
How would you like to go back, gentle reader, to this style of life?
"Our Little Lady" by Emily Sarah Holt
It is yours and it is mine, gentle reader.
"Doctor Jones' Picnic" by S. E. Chapman
Reader, 'speak gently to the erring.
"City Crimes" by Greenhorn
From these remarks the reader will understand that force belongs to the occiput and gentleness to the front.
"Buchanan's Journal of Man, December 1887" by Various
The pond'rous books two gentle readers bring; The heroes sit, the vulgar form a ring.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845" by Various
By St. Hubert, gentle reader, your eyes would be feasted with a glorious sight.
"Le Morvan, [A District of France,] Its Wild Sports, Vineyards and Forests; with Legends, Antiquities, Rural and Local Sketches" by Henri de Crignelle
Gentle Reader, this Work is neither a Novel, nor a Passport.
"The Book of Khalid" by Ameen Rihani
As for referring you, gentle reader, to the home of Mr de Fitzalbert, the thing's absurd upon the very face.
"Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846" by Various
This word does not signify the same thing as with us, gentle reader.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845" by Various
A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL, GENTLE READERS!
"Notes and Queries, Number 217, December 24, 1853" by Various
Our character is to be found in the country; and therefore, gentle reader, behold along with us a specimen of Scottish scenery.
"Recreations of Christopher North, Volume I (of 2)" by John Wilson
But you know, gentle reader, how it is.
"Belford's Magazine, Volume II, No. 8, January, 1889" by Various
Gentle reader, are you wearied out with this insufferable nonsense?
"Physiology of The Opera" by John H. Swaby (AKA "Scrici")
And so, gentle reader, I venture to suggest, it is with all of us.
"Long Live the King" by Guy Boothby
Gentle reader, if you ever read bad verses, think of him with pity!
"Hungarian Sketches in Peace and War" by Mór Jókai
Such stores as silent thought can bring, O gentle Reader!
"The Golden Treasury" by Various
Pause, gentle reader, for a while, and reflect kindly on these paragraphs for the sake of Alexander Pope and Christopher North.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 353, March 1845" by Various
And you, gentle reader, can decide which.
"The Galaxy, April, 1877" by Various
***

In poetry:

And so, dear gentle reader,
You see, by all the rules,
That earth's whole population
Except ourselves are fools.
"Bedlam" by Abner Cosens
READER--gentle--if so be
Such still live, and live for me,
Will it please you to be told
What my tenscore pages hold?
"Programme" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
'Whoe'er shall read this mighty song
In some forthcoming evensong,
We pray thee guard these simple flowers,
For, gentle Reader, they are "ours."'
"She Said" by Richard Le Gallienne
Sketch'd on the lattice of th' adjacent fane,
Their suppliant busts implore the reader's prayer
Ah, gentle souls! enjoy your blissful reign,
And let frail mortals claim your guardian care.
"Elegy XV. In Memory of a Private Family in Worcestershire" by William Shenstone
Come, gentle reader, lend thine ear,
And thou the simple truth shalt hear;
And mark,--for here the moral lurks,--
Smith held to faith, but not to works;
While Jones believed in both, and so,
By faith and practice, made it go!
"The Two Windmills" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich

In news:

Because I live to tell the tale, gentle reader, of having survived numerous trips to our fair city's minor-league baseball park.
There are limits to my gastronomical omniscience, gentle readers: I always appreciate your tips in finding the county's best holes-in-the-wall.
Evidence from gentle readers of how people concluded the holiday for gathering in warm fellowship to give thanks for the bounty received.
Gentle reader, there comes a time when repeating oneself is no longer repetition but instead tradition.
I had referred to a menu item as a panini and was gently chastised by a reader of Italian heritage who informed me the correct usage should have been panino .
When you spill lakes of digital ink and snap loads of pictures documenting your own event (tired of Dwell on Design yet, gentle readers?
Gentle readers, a survey: Are you appalled or aroused by the idea of a threesome.
***

In science:

Gentle readers who gently read about the re-assembling of the Antikythera device (Wright 2005) may been pleasantly surprised that they didn’t seem to have any parts left over.
Astrophysics in 2006
For a history of the Four Color Problem, a gentle description of the main ideas in the proof of the Four Color Theorem, and a look at this controversy over whether it is really a proof, the reader is referred to the book by Wilson [Wi].
Snarks from a Kaszonyi perspective: a survey
If the reader understands [KM, Chapters 2 and 3], then it is not difficult to read [F16], which is a gentle introduction to the log minimal model program for lc pairs and written in the same style as [KM].
Introduction to the log minimal model program for log canonical pairs
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