delicate
I. adjective Etymology: Middle English delicat, from Latin delicatus given to self-indulgence, fastidious, subtly pleasing, not robust; akin to Latin delicere to allure Date: 14th century 1. pleasing to the senses: a. generally pleasant <
the climate's delicate, the air most sweet — Shakespeare
>
b. pleasing to the sense of taste or smell especially in a mild or subtle way <
a delicate aroma
>
<
a robust wine will dominate delicate dishes
>
c. marked by daintiness or charm of color, lines, or proportions <
a delicate floral print
>
<
an ample tear trilled down her delicate cheek — Shakespeare
>
d. marked by fineness of structure, workmanship, or texture <
a delicate tracery
>
<
a delicate lace
>
2. a. marked by keen sensitivity or fine discrimination <
delicate insights
>
<
a more delicate syntactic analysis — R. H. Robins
>
b. fastidious, squeamish <
a person of delicate tastes
>
3. a. not robust in health or constitution ; weak, sickly <
had been considered a delicate child
>
b. easily torn or damaged ; fragile <
the delicate chain of life
>
4. a. requiring careful handling: (1) easily unsettled or upset <
a delicate balance
>
<
the delicate relationships defined by the Constitution — New Yorker
>
(2) requiring skill or tact <
in a delicate position
>
<
delicate negotiations
>
<
a delicate operation
>
(3) involving matters of a deeply personal nature ; sensitive <
this is a delicate matter. Could I possibly speak to you alone — Daphne Du Maurier
>
b. marked by care, skill, or tact <
delicate handling of a difficult situation
>
5. marked by great precision or sensitivity <
a delicate instrument
>
Synonyms: see choicedelicately adverb II. noun Date: 15th century something delicate

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

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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