GENTILE, in the English Bible, the term generally applied to those who were not of the Jewish race. It is an adaptation of the Lat. gentilis, of or belonging to the same gens, the clan or family; as defined in Paulus ex Festo "gentilis dicitur et ex eodem genere ortus et is qui simili nomine; ut ait Cincius, gentiles mihi sunt, qui meo nomine appellantur." In post-Augustan Latin gentilis became wider in meaning, following the usage of gens, in the sense of race, nation, and meant "national," belonging to the same race. Later still the word came to mean "foreign," i.e. other than Roman, and was so used in the Vulgate, with gentes, to translate the Hebrew goyyim, nations, LXX. , the non-Israelitish peoples (see further Jews).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)