subtle
Subtile Sub"tile, a. [L. subtilis. See {Subtile}.] 1. Thin; not dense or gross; rare; as, subtile air; subtile vapor; a subtile medium. [1913 Webster]

2. Delicately constituted or constructed; nice; fine; delicate; tenuous; finely woven. ``A sotil [subtile] twine's thread.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

More subtile web Arachne can not spin. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

I do distinguish plain Each subtile line of her immortal face. --Sir J. Davies. [1913 Webster]

3. Acute; piercing; searching. [1913 Webster]

The slow disease and subtile pain. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

5. Characterized by nicety of discrimination; discerning; delicate; refined; subtle. [In this sense now commonly written {subtle}.] [1913 Webster]

The genius of the Spanish people is exquisitely subtile, without being at all acute; hence there is so much humor and so little wit in their literature. The genius of the Italians, on the contrary, is acute, profound, and sensual, but not subtile; hence what they think to be humorous, is merely witty. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

The subtile influence of an intellect like Emerson's. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster]

5. Sly; artful; cunning; crafty; subtle; as, a subtile person; a subtile adversary; a subtile scheme. [In this sense now commonly written {subtle}.] [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Subtile}, {Acute}.

Usage: In acute the image is that of a needle's point; in subtile that of a thread spun out to fineness. The acute intellect pierces to its aim; the subtile (or subtle) intellect winds its way through obstacles. [1913 Webster] -- {Sub"tile*ly}, adv. -- {Sub"tile*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • Subtle — Тип Менеджер окон Разработчик Christoph Kappel Написана на C Операционная система POSIX совместимые Последняя версия 0.9 Тестовая версия последняя ревизия Darcs …   Википедия

  • Subtle — Sub tle, a. [Compar. {Subtler}; superl. {Subtlest}.] [OE. sotil, subtil, OF. soutil, later subtil, F. subtil, L. subtilis; probably, originally, woven fine, and fr. sub under + tela a web, fr. texere to weave. See {Text}, and cf. {Subtile}.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • subtle — [sut′ l] adj. subtler [sut′lər, sut′ l ər] subtlest [ME sotil < OFr soutil < L subtilis, fine, thin, precise, orig., closely woven < sub (see SUB ) + tela, web < * texla < texere, to weave: see TECHNIC] 1. thin; rare; tenuous; not… …   English World dictionary

  • Subtle — est un groupe composé par Adam Drucker, Jeffrey Logan, Dax Pierson, Jordan Dalrymple, Alexander Kort, et Marty Dowers. Bien que Adam (alias Doseone) et Jeffrey (alias Jel) soient signés sur anticon., le groupe Subtle ne fait pas partie du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Subtle — may refer to:*Subtle, a musical group consisting of members of the anticon. hip hop collective *Doctor Subtilis, John Duns Scotus *Subtle body, an idea in mysticism * The Subtle Knife , a novel by Philip Pullman and the second book in the trilogy …   Wikipedia

  • subtle — [adj1] nice, quiet, delicate attenuate, attenuated, deep, discriminating, ethereal, exquisite, faint, fine, finespun, hairline, hairsplitting, illusive, implied, inconspicuous, indirect, indistinct, inferred, ingenious, insinuated, mental,… …   New thesaurus

  • subtle — ► ADJECTIVE (subtler, subtlest) 1) so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyse or describe. 2) capable of making fine distinctions. 3) delicately complex and understated: subtle lighting. 4) making use of clever and indirect methods to… …   English terms dictionary

  • subtle — I (insidious) adjective canny, contriving, crafty, cunning, deceitful, deceptive, designing, feline, guileful, illusive, implied, indistinct, inferred, insinuated, intriguing, serpentine, shifty, shrewd, sly, sophistical, stealthy, tricky,… …   Law dictionary

  • subtle — c.1300, sutel, soutil, in ref. to things, of thin consistency; in ref. to craftsmen, skilled, clever, from O.Fr. soutil, from L. subtilis fine, thin, delicate, finely woven, from sub under (see SUB (Cf. sub )) + tilis, from tela web and texere …   Etymology dictionary

  • subtle — *logical, analytical Analogous words: penetrating, piercing, probing (see ENTER): *deep, profound: abstruse, *recondite Antonyms: dense (in mind): blunt (in speech) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • subtle — has a corresponding adverb subtly, and the noun is subtlety (which is also countable with a plural form subtleties). The b is silent in all these forms …   Modern English usage

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