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Meaning of DELICATE

Pronunciation:  'delukit

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [adj]  exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to injury; "a delicate violin passage"; "delicate china"; "a delicate flavor"; "the delicate wing of a butterfly"
  2. [adj]  easily broken or damaged or destroyed; "a kite too delicate to fly safely"; "fragile porcelain plates"; "fragile old bones"; "a frail craft"
  3. [adj]  difficult to handle; requiring great tact; "delicate negotiations with the big powers"; "hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter"
  4. [adj]  developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety; "the satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"
  5. [adj]  of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely; "almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments"
  6. [adj]  marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique; "a surgeon's delicate touch"
  7. [adj]  easily hurt; "soft hands"; "a baby's delicate skin"

DELICATE is a 8 letter word that starts with D.


 Synonyms: dainty, difficult, ethereal, exquisite, finespun, fragile, gossamer, half-hardy, hard, light-handed, overdelicate, pastel, refined, sensitive, skilled, soft, subtle, tender, ticklish, untoughened
 Antonyms: rugged
 See Also: breakable, frail, weak



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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.
             Dives, for his delicate life, to the devil went.
             Haarlem is a very delicate town.      --Evelyn.
    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.
    3. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, ``a delicate
       creature.'' --Shak.
    4. Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; -- said of a thread,
       or the like; as, delicate cotton.
    5. Slight or smooth; light and yielding; -- said of texture;
       as, delicate lace or silk.
    6. Soft and fair; -- said of the skin or a surface; as, a
       delicate cheek; a delicate complexion.
    7. Light, or softly tinted; -- said of a color; as, a
       delicate blue.
    8. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend;
       considerate; -- said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as,
       delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate
    9. Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail;
       effeminate; -- said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a
       delicate child; delicate health.
             A delicate and tender prince.         --Shak.
    10. Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily
        dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or
              There are some things too delicate and too sacred
              to be handled rudely without injury to truth. --F.
                                                   W. Robertson.
    11. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
    12. Nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical;
        sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate
        ear for music.
    13. Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes; as, a
        delicate thermometer.
  2. \Del"i*cate\, n.
    1. A choice dainty; a delicacy. [R.]
             With abstinence all delicates he sees. --Dryden.
    2. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
             All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, --
             those I mean that would seem to be more fine in
             their houses than their neighbors, -- are only of
             the Corinth metal.                    --Holland.
Thesaurus Terms
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