Definitions of delicate

  1. easily hurt; " soft hands"; " a baby's delicate skin"
  2. exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to injury; " a delicate violin passage"; " delicate china"; " a delicate flavor"; " the delicate wing of a butterfly"
  3. easily broken or damaged or destroyed; " a kite too delicate to fly safely"; " fragile porcelain plates"; " fragile old bones"; " a frail craft"
  4. difficult to handle; requiring great tact; " delicate negotiations with the big powers"; " hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter"
  5. developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety; " the satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"
  6. of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely; " almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments"
  7. marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique; " a surgeon's delicate touch"
  8. Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
  9. Pleasing to the senses; refinedly agreeable; hence, adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice; fine; elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate flavor.
  10. Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or question.
  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.
  14. A choice dainty; a delicacy.
  15. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
  16. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, a delicate creature.
  17. Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; - said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton.
  18. Slight or smooth; light and yielding; - said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk.
  19. Soft and fair; - said of the skin or a surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate complexion.
  20. Light, or softly tinted; - said of a color; as, a delicate blue.
  21. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; - said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness.
  22. Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail; effeminate; - said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a delicate child; delicate health.
  23. Pleasing to the taste; as, a delicate flavor; tender; refined; as, delicate attentions; physically frail; sensitive.
  24. Delicately.
  25. Of feeble resisting power.
  26. 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.
  27. Pleasing to the senses; dainty; refined; finely wrought; frail; requiring nice handling.
  28. Fine and light; daintily pleasing; finely wrought; tender; frail; fragile.
  29. Refined; pure; chaste; dainty; sensitive.
  30. Delicateness.
  31. 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.
  32. 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. They were discussing her now, in none too delicate a fashion. – There was a King in Egypt by Norma Lorimer
  2. It was given out that Edith was delicate and must have a year away. – The Case of Richard Meynell by Mrs. Humphrey Ward
  3. 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
  4. And now as to a more delicate matter. – Old Ebenezer by Opie Read
  5. Roses of course, white or very delicate ones. – The Northern Light by E. Werner
  6. This was a delicate and difficult question to answer- at least, to my way of thinking. – Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins
  7. There was not a trace of fatigue upon that delicate pretty face. – The Light of Scarthey by Egerton Castle
  8. This is good to eat with wild fowl, or to flavor the most delicate sauces. –  by
  9. " I told you it was a rather delicate subject," Ware smiled. – Gargoyles by Ben Hecht
  10. 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
  11. The child was so young, so delicate – In The Blue Pike, Volume 2. by Georg Ebers
  12. He is old and in delicate health. – The Virginians by William Makepeace Thackeray
  13. It's delicate business, you understand, and dangerous if you can't keep your head. – Blindfolded by Earle Ashley Walcott
  14. Cutter's position was more delicate – Paul Patoff by F. Marion Crawford
  15. But too delicate to wear well. – Sisters by Ada Cambridge
  16. " It is a delicate matter," said the Prince, turning the ring on his finger. – Arms and the Woman by Harold MacGrath
  17. 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
  18. There was a delicate hint of a struggle, a little cry, and I had kissed her. – The Reckoning by Robert W. Chambers
  19. 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
  20. The matter was delicate – Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern by Edgar Saltus