/del"i kit/, adj.1. fine in texture, quality, construction, etc.: a delicate lace collar.2. fragile; easily damaged; frail: delicate porcelain; a delicate child.3. so fine as to be scarcely perceptible; subtle: a delicate flavor.4. soft or faint, as color: a delicate shade of pink.5. fine or precise in action or execution; capable of responding to the slightest influence: a delicate instrument.6. requiring great care, caution, or tact: a delicate international situation.7. distinguishing subtle differences: a delicate eye; a delicate sense of smell.8. exquisite or refined in perception or feeling; sensitive.9. regardful of what is becoming, proper, etc.: a delicate sense of propriety.10. mindful of or sensitive to the feelings of others: a delicate refusal.11. dainty or choice, as food: delicate tidbits.12. primly fastidious; squeamish: not a movie for the delicate viewer.13. Obs. sensuous; voluptuous.n.14. Archaic. a choice food; delicacy.15. Obs. a source of pleasure; luxury.[1325-75; ME delicat < L delicatus delightful, dainty; akin to DELICIOUS]Syn. 1. DELICATE, DAINTY, EXQUISITE imply beauty such as belongs to rich surroundings or which needs careful treatment. DELICATE, used of an object, suggests fragility, small size, and often very fine workmanship: a delicate piece of carving. DAINTY, in concrete references, suggests a smallness, gracefulness, and beauty that forbid rough handling: a dainty handkerchief; of persons, it refers to fastidious sensibilities: dainty in eating habits. EXQUISITE suggests an outstanding beauty and elegance, or a discriminating sensitivity and ability to perceive fine distinctions: an exquisite sense of humor. 2. tender, slight, weak. 5. exact, accurate. 6. critical, precarious. 7. discriminating, careful.Ant. 1, 2. coarse. 3. hard, crude.
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