delicacy


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del·i·ca·cy

 (dĕl′ĭ-kə-sē)
n. pl. del·i·ca·cies
1. The quality of being delicate.
2. Something pleasing and appealing, especially a choice food.
3. Fineness of appearance, construction, or execution; elegance: brushwork of great delicacy.
4. Frailty of bodily constitution or health.
5. Sensitivity of perception, discrimination, or taste; refinement.
6.
a. Sensitivity to the feelings of others; tact: phrased the apology with delicacy.
b. Sensitivity to what is proper; propriety.
c. Undue sensitivity to or concern with what may be considered offensive or improper; squeamishness: scenes that might offend a viewer's delicacy.
7. The need for tact in treatment or handling: a topic of some delicacy.
8. Sensitivity to very small changes; precision: the delicacy of a set of scales.

[Middle English delicacie, from delicat, delicate; see delicate.]

delicacy

(ˈdɛlɪkəsɪ)
n, pl -cies
1. fine or subtle quality, character, construction, etc: delicacy of craftsmanship.
2. fragile, soft, or graceful beauty
3. (Cookery) something that is considered choice to eat, such as caviar
4. fragile construction or constitution; frailty
5. refinement of feeling, manner, or appreciation: the delicacy of the orchestra's playing.
6. fussy or squeamish refinement, esp in matters of taste, propriety, etc
7. need for tactful or sensitive handling
8. accuracy or sensitivity of response or operation, as of an instrument
9. (Linguistics) (in systemic grammar) the level of detail at which a linguistic description is made; the degree of fine distinction in a linguistic description
10. obsolete gratification, luxury, or voluptuousness

del•i•ca•cy

(ˈdɛl ɪ kə si)

n., pl. -cies.
1. fineness of texture, quality, etc.; daintiness: the delicacy of lace.
2. something delightful or pleasing, esp. a choice food considered with regard to its rarity or costliness.
3. the quality of being easily damaged; fragility.
4. the quality of requiring or involving great care or tact.
5. precision of action or operation.
6. fineness of perception or feeling; sensitiveness.
7. sensitivity with regard to what is proper.
8. bodily weakness; frailty.
[1325–75]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.delicacy - the quality of being beautiful and delicate in appearance; "the daintiness of her touch"; "the fineness of her features"
elegance - a refined quality of gracefulness and good taste; "she conveys an aura of elegance and gentility"
2.delicacy - something considered choice to eatdelicacy - something considered choice to eat  
aliment, alimentation, nourishment, nutriment, sustenance, victuals, nutrition - a source of materials to nourish the body
choice morsel, tidbit, titbit - a small tasty bit of food
savoury, savory - an aromatic or spicy dish served at the end of dinner or as an hors d'oeuvre
confection, sweet - a food rich in sugar
nectar, ambrosia - (classical mythology) the food and drink of the gods; mortals who ate it became immortal
jelly, gelatin - an edible jelly (sweet or pungent) made with gelatin and used as a dessert or salad base or a coating for foods
bone marrow, marrow - very tender and very nutritious tissue from marrowbones
3.delicacy - refined taste; tact
appreciation, discernment, perceptiveness, taste - delicate discrimination (especially of aesthetic values); "arrogance and lack of taste contributed to his rapid success"; "to ask at that particular time was the ultimate in bad taste"
4.delicacy - smallness of stature
littleness, smallness - the property of having a relatively small size
5.delicacy - lack of physical strength
weakness - the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain; "his weakness increased as he became older"; "the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed"
6.delicacy - subtly skillful handling of a situation
tact, tactfulness - consideration in dealing with others and avoiding giving offense
7.delicacy - lightness in movement or mannerdelicacy - lightness in movement or manner  
sprightliness, liveliness, spirit, life - animation and energy in action or expression; "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"

delicacy

noun
1. fragility, frailty, brittleness, flimsiness, frailness, frangibility the delicacy of the crystal glasses
2. daintiness, charm, grace, elegance, neatness, prettiness, slenderness, exquisiteness a country where the feminine ideal is delicacy and grace
3. difficulty, sensitivity, stickiness (informal), precariousness, critical nature, touchiness, ticklishness the delicacy of the political situation
5. treat, luxury, goody, savoury, dainty, morsel, titbit, choice item, juicy bit, bonne bouche (French) course after course of mouthwatering delicacies

delicacy

noun
1. Something fine and delicious, especially a food:
Informal: goody.
Translations
رِقَّه، نُعومَه، لَطافَهطَعامُ شَهِيُّ أو لَذيذ
delikátnostjemnostlahůdka
delikatessefinfølelsesarthed
herkkuherkullisuushienostuneisuus
delikatesadelikatnostposlastica
csemege
fínleiki; viîkvæmnilostæti
lahôdka
delikatess
incelikleziz yiyecekzerafet

delicacy

[ˈdelɪkəsɪ] N
1. (= fineness, subtlety) [of flavour, workmanship, instrument] → delicadeza f
2. (= fragility) [of china, person, balance] → fragilidad f
3. (= sensitivity, awkwardness) [of situation, problem] → lo delicado
a matter of some delicacyun asunto algo delicado
4. (= tact) [of person, inquiry] → delicadeza f
5. (= special food) → exquisitez f, manjar m exquisito

delicacy

[ˈdɛlɪkəsi] n
(= fineness) [object] → délicatesse f
(= difficulty) [situation, matter] → délicatesse f
a matter of some delicacy → une affaire assez délicate
(= choice food) → mets m délicat
local delicacies → des mets régionaux délicats

delicacy

n
(= food)Delikatesse f, → Leckerbissen m

delicacy

[ˈdɛlɪkəsɪ] n
a. (of person, thing) → delicatezza; (of workmanship) → finezza
b. (special food) → specialità f inv, ghiottoneria

delicate

(ˈdelikət) adjective
1. requiring special treatment or careful handling. delicate china; a delicate situation/problem.
2. of fine texture etc; dainty. a delicate pattern; the delicate skin of a child.
3. able to do fine, accurate work. a delicate instrument.
4. subtle. a delicate wine; a delicate shade of blue.
ˈdelicately adverb
ˈdelicacyplural ˈdelicacies noun
1. the state or quality of being delicate.
2. something delicious and special to eat. Caviare is a delicacy.
References in classic literature ?
You can hardly doubt the purport of my discourse, however your natural delicacy may lead you to dissemble; my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken.
Natasha unconsciously felt this delicacy and so found great pleasure in his society.
For while Jones was examining his boy in whispers in an inner room, Partridge, who had no such delicacy in his disposition, was in the kitchen very openly catechising the other guide who had attended Mrs Fitzpatrick; by which means the landlord, whose ears were open on all such occasions, became perfectly well acquainted with the tumble of Sophia from her horse, &c.
Falk" -- the second story in the volume -- offended the delicacy of one critic at least by certain peculiarities of its subject.
She has all her life presumed on her delicacy, and her good looks, and her lady-like airs, till she forgets who she is;--and I'll give her one lesson that will bring her down, I fancy
He was in love, very much in love; and it was a love which, operating on an active, sanguine spirit, of more warmth than delicacy, made her affection appear of greater consequence because it was withheld, and determined him to have the glory, as well as the felicity, of forcing her to love him.
He met delicacy with delicacy, though it was obvious to her that the initiative in all such matters lay with her and must lie with her always.
4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
Third: I cannot demonstrate it, but it seems to me, that in the whale the sense of touch is concentrated in the tail; for in this respect there is a delicacy in it only equalled by the daintiness of the elephant's trunk.
This would not, in itself, have been sufficient for the delicacy of Miss Dashwood;--but it was inforced with so much real politeness by Mr.
He treated me, in my forlorn situation, with a delicacy and respect which I shall remember gratefully long after he has himself perhaps forgotten our meeting altogether.
While indulging themselves in the pleasures of the table, they aimed at delicacy, but avoided excess, and were apt to attribute gluttony and drunkenness to the vanquished Saxons, as vices peculiar to their inferior station.