Delicate
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, to the devil went. --Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster]

Haarlem is a very delicate town. --Evelyn. [1913 Webster]

2. Pleasing to the senses; refinedly agreeable; hence, adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice; fine; elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate flavor. [1913 Webster]

3. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, ``a delicate creature.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; -- said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton. [1913 Webster]

5. Slight or smooth; light and yielding; -- said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk. [1913 Webster]

6. Soft and fair; -- said of the skin or a surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate complexion. [1913 Webster]

7. Light, or softly tinted; -- said of a color; as, a delicate blue. [1913 Webster]

8. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; -- said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness. [1913 Webster]

9. Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail; effeminate; -- said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a delicate child; delicate health. [1913 Webster]

A delicate and tender prince. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

10. Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or question. [1913 Webster]

There are some things too delicate and too sacred to be handled rudely without injury to truth. --F. W. Robertson. [1913 Webster]

11. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious. [1913 Webster]

12. Nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music. [1913 Webster]

13. Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes; as, a delicate thermometer. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • 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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