delicate


delicate
delicately, adv.delicateness, n.
/del"i kit/, adj.
1. fine in texture, quality, construction, etc.: a delicate lace collar.
2. fragile; easily damaged; frail: delicate porcelain; a delicate child.
3. so fine as to be scarcely perceptible; subtle: a delicate flavor.
4. soft or faint, as color: a delicate shade of pink.
5. fine or precise in action or execution; capable of responding to the slightest influence: a delicate instrument.
6. requiring great care, caution, or tact: a delicate international situation.
7. distinguishing subtle differences: a delicate eye; a delicate sense of smell.
8. exquisite or refined in perception or feeling; sensitive.
9. regardful of what is becoming, proper, etc.: a delicate sense of propriety.
10. mindful of or sensitive to the feelings of others: a delicate refusal.
11. dainty or choice, as food: delicate tidbits.
12. primly fastidious; squeamish: not a movie for the delicate viewer.
13. Obs. sensuous; voluptuous.
n.
14. Archaic. a choice food; delicacy.
15. Obs. a source of pleasure; luxury.
[1325-75; ME delicat < L delicatus delightful, dainty; akin to DELICIOUS]
Syn. 1. DELICATE, DAINTY, EXQUISITE imply beauty such as belongs to rich surroundings or which needs careful treatment. DELICATE, used of an object, suggests fragility, small size, and often very fine workmanship: a delicate piece of carving. DAINTY, in concrete references, suggests a smallness, gracefulness, and beauty that forbid rough handling: a dainty handkerchief; of persons, it refers to fastidious sensibilities: dainty in eating habits. EXQUISITE suggests an outstanding beauty and elegance, or a discriminating sensitivity and ability to perceive fine distinctions: an exquisite sense of humor. 2. tender, slight, weak. 5. exact, accurate. 6. critical, precarious. 7. discriminating, careful.
Ant. 1, 2. coarse. 3. hard, crude.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Delicate — Del i*cate, a. [L. delicatus pleasing the senses, voluptuous, soft and tender; akin to deliciae delight: cf. F. d[ e]licat. See {Delight}.] 1. Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring. [R.] [1913 Webster] Dives, for his delicate life …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • delicate — [del′i kit] adj. [ME delicat < L delicatus, giving pleasure, delightful < * delicare, for OL delicere, to allure, entice < de , intens. + lacere: see DELIGHT] 1. pleasing in its lightness, mildness, subtlety, etc. [a delicate flavor,… …   English World dictionary

  • delicate — [adj1] dainty, weak aerial, balmy, breakable, choice, delectable, delicious, delightful, elegant, ethereal, exquisite, faint, filmy, fine, fine grained, finespun, flimsy, fracturable, fragile, frail, frangible, gauzy, gentle, gossamery, graceful …   New thesaurus

  • Delicate — may refer to: Delicate (song), a 1993 single by Terence Trent D Arby featuring Des ree Delicate (album), an album by Martha The Muffins Delicate , a single by Damien Rice from the album O This disambiguation page lists articles associated with… …   Wikipedia

  • delicate — ► ADJECTIVE 1) very fine in texture or structure. 2) easily broken or damaged; fragile. 3) susceptible to illness or adverse conditions. 4) requiring sensitive or careful handling. 5) skilful; deft. 6) (of food or drink) subtly and pleasantly… …   English terms dictionary

  • Delicate — Del i*cate, n. 1. A choice dainty; a delicacy. [R.] [1913 Webster] With abstinence all delicates he sees. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person. [1913 Webster] All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, those …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • délicaté — délicaté, ée (dé li ka té, tée) part. passé. Un enfant trop délicaté …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Delicāte — (Delicatemente, ital.), mit Zartheit vorzutragen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • delicate — index destructible, impalpable, intricate, nonsubstantial (not sturdy), palatable, precarious, subtle (refined) …   Law dictionary

  • delicate — (adj.) late 14c., self indulgent, loving ease; delightful; sensitive, easily hurt; feeble, from L. delicatus alluring, delightful, dainty, also addicted to pleasure, luxurious, effeminate; of uncertain origin; related by folk etymology (and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • delicate — exquisite, dainty, rare, *choice, recherché, elegant Analogous words: delectable, *delightful, delicious: *soft, gentle, mild, lenient, balmy: ethereal, *airy, aerial Antonyms: gross Contrasted words: *coarse …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


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