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Webster 1913 Edition


Delicate

Del′i-cate

,
Adj.
[L.
delicatus
pleasing the senses, voluptuous, soft and tender; akin to
deliciae
delight: cf. F.
délicat
. See
Delight
.]
1.
Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
[R.]
Dives, for his
delicate
life, to the devil went.
Piers Plowman.
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
thoughtfulness.
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.
Shakespeare
10.
Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical;
as, a
delicate
subject or question
.
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
.

Del′i-cate

,
Noun.
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.

Webster 1828 Edition


Delicate

DELICATE

,
Adj.
[L. Connected with delight; to delight.]
1.
Of a fine texture; fine; soft; smooth; clear, or fair; as a delicate skin.
2.
Nice; pleasing to the taste; of an agreeable flavor; as delicate food; a delicate dish.
3.
Nice in perception of what is agreeable; dainty; as a delicate taste; and figuratively, nice and discriminating in beauty and deformity.
4.
Nice; accurate; fine; soft to the eye; as a delicate color.
5.
Nice in forms; regulated by minute observance of propriety, or by condescension and attention to the wishes and feelings of others; as delicate behavior or manners; a delicate address.

Definition 2022


delicate

delicate

See also: délicate

English

Adjective

delicate (comparative more delicate, superlative most delicate)

  1. Easily damaged or requiring careful handling.
    Those clothes are made from delicate lace.
    The negotiations were very delicate.
    • F. W. Robertson
      There are some things too delicate and too sacred to be handled rudely without injury to truth.
    • 2012 April 23, Angelique Chrisafis, “François Hollande on top but far right scores record result in French election”, in the Guardian:
      The final vote between Hollande and Sarkozy now depends on a delicate balance of how France's total of rightwing and leftwing voters line up.
  2. Characterized by a fine structure or thin lines.
    Her face was delicate.
    The spider wove a delicate web.
    There was a delicate pattern of frost on the window.
  3. Intended for use with fragile items.
    Set the washing machine to the delicate cycle.
  4. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; said of manners, conduct, or feelings.
    delicate behaviour; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness
  5. Of weak health; easily sick; unable to endure hardship.
    a delicate child; delicate health
    • Shakespeare
      a delicate and tender prince
  6. (informal) Unwell, especially because of having drunk too much alcohol.
    Please don't speak so loudly: I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning.
  7. (obsolete) Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
  8. Pleasing to the senses; refined; adapted to please an elegant or cultivated taste.
    a delicate dish; delicate flavour
  9. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful.
  10. Light, or softly tinted; said of a colour.
    a delicate shade of blue
  11. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
  12. Highly discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite.
    a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music
  13. Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes.
    a delicate thermometer

Related terms

Synonyms

Translations

Noun

delicate (plural delicates)

  1. A delicate item of clothing, especially underwear or lingerie.
    Don't put that in with your jeans: it's a delicate!
  2. (obsolete) A choice dainty; a delicacy.
    With abstinence all delicates he sees. Dryden.
  3. (obsolete) 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 neighbours, are only of the Corinth metal. Holland.

Italian

Adjective

delicate

  1. feminine plural of delicato

Anagrams


Latin

Adjective

dēlicāte

  1. vocative masculine singular of dēlicātus

References


Romanian

Adjective

delicate

  1. feminine plural nominative form of delicat
  2. feminine plural accusative form of delicat
  3. neuter plural nominative form of delicat
  4. neuter plural accusative form of delicat