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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 ?
Guests can look forward to an unforgettable experience as the crew and live orchestra transport them into a realm of strength and delicateness, passion and craftsmanship all at once.
There is a wonderful delicateness to the names in "Mountain, Stone," contrasted by a namelessness, and a stone.
His hyperbole over America's nuclear deterrent has drawn consternation from observers, especially given the delicateness of the diplomatic situation and the effort required for Russia and China to commit to sanctions on North Korea.
Doubilet and Hayes highlighted the importance of marine conservation and how photography should show the delicateness of underwater ecosystems, being activists themselves.
Haitian vetiver takes center stage in the EDP It reveals all of its dimensions: intense and enveloping with an extraordinary delicateness.
The fresh tofu was silky as could be, the wasabi lending a nice gentle spike to its delicateness.
The "fragility" metaphor is repetitively used to accentuate the topos of danger by pointing to the volatility, breakability and delicateness of the states, their institutions and governance structures.
I chose this landing, though, because of it's unexpected delicateness.
Some of the embroideries are so fine that one may need a magnifying glass to experience the delicateness of the needlework.
IN TERMS OF DELICATENESS, parasitic plants face similar issues.
It's widely accepted that the true home of delicateness in cooking is Japan.
There's a quiet power and also a bubbling revolt, a delicateness and a fierceness that's a negotiation of pleasing people and not.