delicacy


delicacy
/del"i keuh see/, n., pl. delicacies.
1. fineness of texture, quality, etc.; softness; daintiness: the delicacy of lace.
2. something delightful or pleasing, esp. a choice food considered with regard to its rarity, costliness, or the like: Caviar is a great delicacy.
3. the quality of being easily broken or damaged; fragility.
4. the quality of requiring or involving great care or tact: negotiations of great delicacy.
5. extreme sensitivity; precision of action or operation; minute accuracy: the delicacy of a skillful surgeon's touch; a watch mechanism of unusual delicacy.
6. fineness of perception or feeling; sensitiveness: the delicacy of the pianist's playing.
7. fineness of feeling with regard to what is fitting, proper, etc.: Delicacy would not permit her to be rude.
8. sensitivity with regard to the feelings of others: She criticized him with such delicacy that he was not offended.
9. bodily weakness; liability to sickness; frailty.
10. Ling. (esp. in systemic linguistics) the degree of minuteness pursued at a given stage of analysis in specifying distinctions in linguistic description.
11. Obs. sensuous indulgence; luxury.
[1325-75; ME delicasie. See DELICATE, -CY]
Syn. 5. sensitivity, discrimination; prudence, consideration, circumspection.
Ant. 1, 6. coarseness.

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Universalium. 2010.

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