Delicacy Del"i*ca*cy, n.; pl. {Delicacies}. [From {Delicate}, a.] 1. The state or condition of being delicate; agreeableness to the senses; delightfulness; as, delicacy of flavor, of odor, and the like. [1913 Webster]

What choice to choose for delicacy best. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Nicety or fineness of form, texture, or constitution; softness; elegance; smoothness; tenderness; and hence, frailty or weakness; as, the delicacy of a fiber or a thread; delicacy of a hand or of the human form; delicacy of the skin; delicacy of frame. [1913 Webster]

3. Nice propriety of manners or conduct; susceptibility or tenderness of feeling; refinement; fastidiousness; and hence, in an exaggerated sense, effeminacy; as, great delicacy of behavior; delicacy in doing a kindness; delicacy of character that unfits for earnest action. [1913 Webster]

You know your mother's delicacy in this point. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

4. Addiction to pleasure; luxury; daintiness; indulgence; luxurious or voluptuous treatment. [1913 Webster]

And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent For gentle usage and soft delicacy? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. Nice and refined perception and discrimination; critical niceness; fastidious accuracy. [1913 Webster]

That Augustan delicacy of taste which is the boast of the great public schools of England. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

6. The state of being affected by slight causes; sensitiveness; as, the delicacy of a chemist's balance. [1913 Webster]

7. That which is alluring, delicate, or refined; a luxury or pleasure; something pleasant to the senses, especially to the sense of taste; a dainty; as, delicacies of the table. [1913 Webster]

The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. --Rev. xviii. 3. [1913 Webster]

8. Pleasure; gratification; delight. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

He Rome brent for his delicacie. --Chaucer.

Syn: See {Dainty}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • delicacy — [del′i kə sē] n. pl. delicacies [ME delicacie < ML delicacia < L delicatus: see DELICATE] 1. the quality of being delicate as in taste, odor, or texture 2. fragile beauty or graceful slightness, softness, etc.; fineness [the delicacy of a… …   English World dictionary

  • delicacy — [n1] daintiness, fineness of structure airiness, debility, diaphaneity, elegance, etherealness, exquisiteness, fragility, frailness, frailty, gossameriness, infirmity, lightness, slenderness, smoothness, softness, subtlety, tenderness, tenuity,… …   New thesaurus

  • delicacy — index consideration (sympathetic regard), decorum, discretion (quality of being discreet), fault (weakness), frailty, nuance, propriety ( …   Law dictionary

  • delicacy — late 14c., delightfulness; fastidiousness; quality of being addicted to sensuous pleasure, from DELICATE (Cf. delicate) + CY (Cf. cy). Meaning fineness, softness, tender loveliness is from 1580s; that of weakness of constitution is from 1630s.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • delicacy — ► NOUN (pl. delicacies) 1) delicate texture or structure. 2) susceptibility to illness or adverse conditions. 3) discretion and tact. 4) a choice or expensive food …   English terms dictionary

  • delicacy — [[t]de̱lɪkəsi[/t]] delicacies 1) N UNCOUNT Delicacy is the quality of being easy to break or harm, and refers especially to people or things that are attractive or graceful. ...the delicacy of a rose. ...a country where the feminine ideal is… …   English dictionary

  • 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 …   Universalium

  • delicacy — noun 1 rare and expensive type of food ADJECTIVE ▪ great ▪ exotic, rare ▪ expensive ▪ local ▪ Have you tried any of the local deli …   Collocations dictionary

  • delicacy — noun 1) the fabric s delicacy Syn: fineness, exquisiteness, daintiness, airiness; flimsiness, gauziness, silkiness 2) the children s delicacy Syn: sickliness, ill health, frailty, fragility …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • delicacy — noun (plural cies) Date: 14th century 1. obsolete a. the quality or state of being luxurious b. indulgence 2. something pleasing to eat that is considered rare or luxurious …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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