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 ?
Moffat willingly did so, and had the delicacy not to make her a present of it immediately afterward.
She even sent her off in search of some added delicacy which she had not thought of for herself.
You hear, Heyward, and delicacy at least should urge you to retire.
Neither Christie nor Jessie could for a moment understand the delicacy which kept these young men from accompanying them into the room they had but a few moments before decorated and arranged with their own hands, and it was not until they turned to thank their strange entertainers that they found that they were gone.
On the score of delicacy, or any scrupulousness which a finer sensibility might have taught him, the Colonel, like most of his breed and generation, was impenetrable.
Oh, it was a trap--not designed, but deep--to my imagination, to my delicacy, perhaps to my vanity; to whatever, in me, was most excitable.
Thinks I, Queequeg, under the circumstances, this is a very civilized overture; but, the truth is, these savages have an innate sense of delicacy, say what you will; it is marvellous how essentially polite they are.
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.
Having inherited from his mother an exceeding delicacy of constitution, he was, at the instance of physicians, during many years of his boyhood, sent to the care of his uncle in Vermont, in order that his constitution might, be strengthened by the cold of a more bracing climate.
Living much out of doors, in the sun and wind, will no doubt produce a certain roughness of character--will cause a thicker cuticle to grow over some of the finer qualities of our nature, as on the face and hands, or as severe manual labor robs the hands of some of their delicacy of touch.
Now I wanted to fit these people out with new suits, on account of that swell company, and I didn't know just how to get at it -- with delicacy, until at last it struck me that as I had already been liberal in inventing wordy gratitude for the king, it would be just the thing to back it up with evidence of a substantial sort; so I said:
There is not an excess of delicacy or chivalry in the ordinary country school, and several choice conundrums and bits of verse dealing with the Simpson affair were bandied about among the scholars, uttered always, be it said to their credit, in undertones, and when the Simpson children were not in the group.