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Webster 1913 Edition


Delicacy

Del′i-ca-cy

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Delicacies
(#)
.
[From
Delicate
,
Adj.
]
1.
The state or condition of being delicate; agreeableness to the senses; delightfulness;
as,
delicacy
of flavor, of odor, and the like
.
What choice to choose for
delicacy
best.
Milton.
2.
Nicety or fineness of form, texture, or constitution; softness; elegance; smoothness; tenderness; and hence, frailty or weakness;
as, the
delicacy
of a fiber or a thread;
delicacy
of a hand or of the human form;
delicacy
of the skin;
delicacy
of frame.
3.
Nice propriety of manners or conduct; susceptibility or tenderness of feeling; refinement; fastidiousness; and hence, in an exaggerated sense, effeminacy;
as, great
delicacy
of behavior;
delicacy
in doing a kindness;
delicacy
of character that unfits for earnest action.
You know your mother’s
delicacy
in this point.
Cowper.
4.
Addiction to pleasure; luxury; daintiness; indulgence; luxurious or voluptuous treatment.
And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent
For gentle usage and soft
delicacy
?
Milton.
5.
Nice and refined perception and discrimination; critical niceness; fastidious accuracy.
That Augustan
delicacy
of taste which is the boast of the great public schools of England.
Macaulay.
6.
The state of being affected by slight causes; sensitiveness;
as, the
delicacy
of a chemist's balance
.
7.
That which is alluring, delicate, or refined; a luxury or pleasure; something pleasant to the senses, especially to the sense of taste; a dainty;
as,
delicacies
of the table
.
The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her
delicacies
.
Rev. xviii. 3.
8.
Pleasure; gratification; delight.
[Obs.]
Syn. – See
Dainty
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Delicacy

DELICACY

,
Noun.
In a general sense, that which delights or pleases. Hence,
1.
Fineness of texture; smoothness; softness; tenderness; as the delicacy of the skin; and nearly in the same sense, applicable to food; as the delicacy of flesh, meat or vegetables. Hence,
2.
Daintiness; pleasantness to the taste.
3.
Elegant or feminine beauty; as delicacy of form.
4.
Nicety; minute accuracy; as the delicacy of coloring in painting.
5.
Neatness in dress; elegance proceeding from a nice selection and adjustment of the several parts of dress.
6.
Softness of manners; civility or politemess proceeding from a nice observance of propriety, and a desire to please; as delicacy of behavior.
7.
Indulgence; gentle treatment; as delicacy of education.
8.
Tenderness; scrupulousness; the quality manifested in nice attention to right, and care to avoid wrong, or offense.
9.
Acute or nice perception of what is pleasing to the sense of tasting; hence figuratively, a nice perception of beauty and deformity, or the faculty of such nice perception.
Delicacy of taste tends to invigorate the social affections, and moderate those that are selfish.
10.
That which delights the senses, particularly the taste; applied to eatables; as, the peach is a great delicacy.
11.
Tenderness of constitution; weakness; that quality or state of the animal body which renders it very impressible to injury; as delicacy of constitution or frame.
12.
Smallness; fineness; slenderness; tenuity; as the delicacy of a thread, or fiber.
13.
Tenderness; nice susceptibility of impression; as delicacy of feeling.

Definition 2022


delicacy

delicacy

English

Noun

delicacy (plural delicacies)

  1. The quality of being delicate.
  2. Something appealing, usually a pleasing food, especially a choice dish of a certain culture suggesting rarity and refinement -a Chinese delicacy
  3. Fineness or elegance of construction or appearance.
  4. Frailty of health or fitness.
  5. Refinement in taste or discrimination.
  6. Tact and propriety; the need for such tact.

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