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1. Pleasing to the senses, especially in a subtle way: a delicate flavor; a delicate violin passage.
a. Easily broken or damaged: a kite too delicate to fly.
b. Exquisitely fine or dainty: delicate china. See Synonyms at exquisite.
c. Frail in constitution or health.
a. Marked by sensitivity of discrimination: a critic's delicate perception.
b. Very subtle in difference or distinction.
a. Having or showing great consideration or care: delicate remarks concerning the scandal.
b. Requiring careful or tactful treatment: a delicate situation.
5. Fine or soft in touch or skill: a surgeon's delicate touch.
6. Measuring, indicating, or responding to very small changes; precise: a delicate set of scales.

[Middle English delicat and French délicat, both from Latin dēlicātus, pleasing; akin to dēlicia, pleasure; see delicious.]

del′i·cate·ly adv.
del′i·cate·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


(= daintiness)Zartheit f; (= fragility)Zerbrechlichkeit f; (of fabric, flower, liver)Empfindlichkeit f; (of health, person)Zartheit f
(= sensitivity, of person) → Feinfühligkeit f; (of instrument)Empfindlichkeit f; (of task)Feinheit f; the delicateness of his playingsein gefühlvolles Spiel
(of operation, subject, situation)heikle Natur
(= subtlety: of flavour) → Feinheit f
References in periodicals archive ?
I now realize that what Tahir Elci was striving to protect was a kind of courtesy and delicateness, not the actual stones of the minaret.
Black and white, male and female, strength and fragility, the tailor's discipline and the delicateness of lingerie all come together in a natural way in a collection which has the feel of a marriage of opposites.
Every person, independently of their sexual tendencies, is respected in their dignity and should be received with sensibility and delicateness, both in the church and in society," the document states.
But he quickly added that the situation's delicateness is part of "ongoing discussions" between Islamabad and Washington and that factors on the ground may change the calculus of the withdrawal.
Asked whether he is satisfied with the administration's plan, Jilani responded with a "yes" but added that the situation's delicateness is part of "ongoing discussions" between Islamabad and Washington and that factors on the ground may change the calculus of the withdrawal.
However, potential biases in the interview results may occur, especially due to the delicateness of respondents' representations of the sizes of their catches or the unofficial financial gain from the fish landed.
What's better for a political comeback then two little words that register with all the delicateness of a demolition ball?
Among specific topics are the setting for enchantment, theological grace and sublime grace, ecstatic visions, canons of the aura, places of apparition, flight and the wave, silences of the cloister and the garden, elegance and delicateness, loveliness and resplendence, the oneiric and the marvelous, and the mourning of art in the modern age.
While Western blockbusters can have their own kind of delicateness, it's not delicate enough.
The sensual delicateness of vintage lattice designs, the play of light through its intricate maze of patterns conjures the glam and sensuous feminism unravelling the finer nuances of a woman.
De rerum natura had been lost for nearly one-thousand years, and given the delicateness of ancient texts and their susceptibility to pests, climate changes, and most of all, time--as Greenblatt puts it, "a spilled glass of wine or a heavy downpour and the text disappeared" (83)--it is beguiling that it has managed to reach our present.
Back in the very early 1900s, the owner of Chicago's Palmer House Hotel, one Bertha Palmer, requested of the kitchen's pastry chef that he produce a new cake that should be smaller than the traditional wedges served for tea, something with a little more delicateness and panache.