delicate

delicate
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, odor, or color]
2. beautifully fine in texture, quality, or workmanship [delicate linen, delicate skin]
3. slight and subtle [a delicate difference]
4. easily damaged, spoiled, or disordered [a delicate vase, a delicate stomach]
5. frail in health [a delicate child]
6.
a) needing careful handling, tact, etc. [a delicate situation]
b) showing tact, consideration, etc.
7. finely sensitive in feeling, understanding, discriminating, or responding [a delicate ear for music, a delicate gauge]
8. finely skilled
9. having or showing a sensitive or, sometimes, finicky distaste for what is considered offensive or improper
n.
Archaic a delicacy; dainty
delicately
adv.
delicateness
n.
SYN.- DELICATE and DAINTY are both used to describe things that are pleasing to highly refined tastes or sensibilities, DELICATE implying fragility, subtlety, or fineness, and DAINTY, smallness, fastidiousness, or gracefulness; EXQUISITE is applied to something so delicately wrought or subtly refined as to be appreciated by only the most keenly discriminating or fastidious
-ANT. GROSS, CRUDE, COARSE

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • 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 — [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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