Definitions of delicate

  1. 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. easily broken or damaged or destroyed; " a kite too delicate to fly safely"; " fragile porcelain plates"; " fragile old bones"; " a frail craft"
  3. difficult to handle; requiring great tact; " delicate negotiations with the big powers"; " hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter"
  4. developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety; " the satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"
  5. of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely; " almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments"
  6. marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique; " a surgeon's delicate touch"
  7. Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
  8. Pleasing to the senses; refinedly agreeable; hence, adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice; fine; elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate flavor.
  9. Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or question.
  10. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
  11. Nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music.
  12. A choice dainty; a delicacy.
  13. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
  14. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, a delicate creature.
  15. Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; - said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton.
  16. Slight or smooth; light and yielding; - said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk.
  17. Soft and fair; - said of the skin or a surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate complexion.
  18. Light, or softly tinted; - said of a color; as, a delicate blue.
  19. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; - said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness.
  20. Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail; effeminate; - said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a delicate child; delicate health.
  21. Pleasing to the taste; as, a delicate flavor; tender; refined; as, delicate attentions; physically frail; sensitive.
  22. Delicately.
  23. Pleasing to the senses, esp. the taste: dainty: nicely discriminating or perceptive: of a fine, slight texture or constitution: tender, frail: requiring nice handling: refined in manners, gentle, polite, considerate.
  24. Pleasing to the senses; dainty; refined; finely wrought; frail; requiring nice handling.
  25. Fine and light; daintily pleasing; finely wrought; tender; frail; fragile.
  26. Refined; pure; chaste; dainty; sensitive.
  27. Delicateness.
  28. Pleasing to a nicely discriminating sense; dainty; requiring fineness of sense to distinguish; nice; fine; soft; slender; of a fine texture; nice in perception; implying nice sensibility, or refined; highly susceptible of injury; tender; to be handled with caution.
  29. Soft; smooth; of a fine texture; nice or pleasing to the taste; nice and discriminating in the perception of beauty or deformity; fine; slender; that must be tended or handled with care; effeminate; not able to endure hardship; feeble; scrupulously polite and considerate in attending to the wishes and feelings of others.

Usage examples for delicate

  1. It was given out that Edith was delicate, and must have a year away. – The Case of Richard Meynell by Mrs. Humphrey Ward
  2. The child was so young, so delicate. – In The Blue Pike, Volume 2. by Georg Ebers
  3. They were discussing her now, in none too delicate a fashion. – There was a King in Egypt by Norma Lorimer
  4. There was a delicate hint of a struggle, a little cry, and I had kissed her. – The Reckoning by Robert W. Chambers
  5. And now as to a more delicate matter. – Old Ebenezer by Opie Read
  6. There was not a trace of fatigue upon that delicate, pretty face. – The Light of Scarthey by Egerton Castle
  7. George suddenly noticed, then, that Marguerite was not wearing the thin, delicate ring which he had long ago given her. – The Roll-Call by Arnold Bennett
  8. Roses of course, white or very delicate ones. – The Northern Light by E. Werner
  9. I can recall her now as she looked towards the latter part of her life- a tall, delicate, feeble woman, with a very sweet face. – The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins
  10. This was a delicate and difficult question to answer- at least, to my way of thinking. – Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins
  11. But too delicate to wear well. – Sisters by Ada Cambridge
  12. " I told you it was a rather delicate subject," Ware smiled. – Gargoyles by Ben Hecht
  13. The matter was delicate. – Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern by Edgar Saltus
  14. His features had grown delicate and there was something strong and sweet about his mouth that surely never had been there before. – The City of Fire by Grace Livingston Hill
  15. It's delicate business, you understand, and dangerous if you can't keep your head. – Blindfolded by Earle Ashley Walcott
  16. " It is a delicate matter," said the Prince, turning the ring on his finger. – Arms and the Woman by Harold MacGrath
  17. You can't enjoy everything- I mean, one can't have the strong and the delicate both at once. – Thomas Wingfold, Curate by George MacDonald
  18. Cutter's position was more delicate. – Paul Patoff by F. Marion Crawford
  19. He is old and in delicate health. – The Virginians by William Makepeace Thackeray