[syn: delicate, ticklish, touchy]
7. of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely;
- Example: "almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Delicate \Del"i*cate\, n.
1. A choice dainty; a delicacy. [R.]
With abstinence all delicates he sees. --Dryden.
2. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, --
those I mean that would seem to be more fine in
their houses than their neighbors, -- are only of
the Corinth metal. --Holland.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Delicate \Del"i*cate\, a. [L. delicatus pleasing the senses,
voluptuous, soft and tender; akin to deliciae delight: cf. F.
d['e]licat. See Delight.]
1. Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
Dives, for his delicate life, to the devil went.
Haarlem is a very delicate town. --Evelyn.
2. Pleasing to the senses; refinedly agreeable; hence,
adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice; fine;
elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate flavor.
3. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, "a delicate
4. Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; -- said of a thread,
or the like; as, delicate cotton.
5. Slight or smooth; light and yielding; -- said of texture;
as, delicate lace or silk.
6. Soft and fair; -- said of the skin or a surface; as, a
delicate cheek; a delicate complexion.
7. Light, or softly tinted; -- said of a color; as, a
8. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend;
considerate; -- said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as,
delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate
9. Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail;
effeminate; -- said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a
delicate child; delicate health.
A delicate and tender prince. --Shak.
10. Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily
dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or
There are some things too delicate and too sacred
to be handled rudely without injury to truth. --F.
11. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
12. Nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical;
sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate
ear for music.
13. Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes; as, a
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to
injury; "a delicate violin passage"; "delicate china"; "a
delicate flavor"; "the delicate wing of a butterfly"
2: marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique; "a
surgeon's delicate touch"
3: easily broken or damaged or destroyed; "a kite too delicate
to fly safely"; "fragile porcelain plates"; "fragile old
bones"; "a frail craft" [syn: delicate, fragile, frail]
4: easily hurt; "soft hands"; "a baby's delicate skin" [syn:
5: developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety; "the satire
touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"
[syn: finespun, delicate]
6: difficult to handle; requiring great tact; "delicate
negotiations with the big powers";"hesitates to be explicit
on so ticklish a matter"; "a touchy subject" [syn:
delicate, ticklish, touchy]
7: of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute
differences or changes precisely; "almost undetectable with
even the most delicate instruments"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
378 Moby Thesaurus words for "delicate":
Herculean, Victorian, abstruse, accommodating, accommodative,
accurate, adept, aerial, agreeable, airy, allergic, ambrosial,
anaphylactic, appreciative, arduous, attentive, attenuate,
attenuated, balmy, becoming, boyish, breakable, brittle,
brittle as glass, brutal, careful, cautious, cheap-jack, civilized,
close, cobwebby, complaisant, complex, conscientious, considerate,
constant, correct, coy, crackable, creamy, crisp, crispy, critical,
crumbly, crushable, cultivated, cultured, cunning, cute, dainty,
dangerous, debilitated, decent, decorous, decrepit, delectable,
delicat, delicately weak, delicious, delightful, demanding, demure,
detailed, diaphanous, differential, difficile, difficult, diluted,
diplomatic, direct, discerning, discreet, discriminate,
discriminating, discriminative, distinctive, distinguishing, downy,
easy, effeminate, eggshell, elegant, emotionable, empathetic,
empathic, enfeebled, ethereal, even, exact, exacting, exigent,
expert, express, exquisite, faint, faithful, fastidious, feeble,
filmy, fine, fine-drawn, fine-grained, finespun, finical,
finicking, finicky, fissile, flat, flimsy, fluffy, foresighted,
formidable, fracturable, fragile, frail, frangible, friable, fussy,
fuzzy, gauzy, gentle, gimcrack, gimcracky, girlish, gloss, good,
good to eat, good-tasting, goosy, gossamer, gossamery, graceful,
gracile, gracious, gradual, gustable, gusty, hair-trigger,
hairline, hairsplitting, hairy, hard, hard-earned, hard-fought,
heedful, helpful, hyperesthetic, hyperpathic, hypersensitive,
impressionable, indulgent, inerrable, inerrant, infallible, infirm,
insubstantial, intricate, iridescent, irritable, itchy,
jawbreaking, jerry, jerry-built, juicy, knotted, knotty, laborious,
lacerable, lacy, lenient, light, lightweight, likable, luscious,
lush, masterly, mathematical, mean, mellow, mellowy, meticulous,
micrometrically precise, microscopic, mignon, mild, mindful,
mindful of others, minute, misty, modest, mollified,
mother-of-pearl, muted, nacreous, namby-pamby, narrow, nervous,
nice, no picnic, nonresistive, nonrigid, not easy, obliging,
of gourmet quality, on slippery ground, on thin ice, opalescent,
operose, overrefined, oversensible, oversensitive, overtender,
palatable, pale, papery, particular, passible, pasteboardy, pastel,
patinaed, pearly, perceptive, perishable, persnickety, pinpoint,
pleasing, polished, politic, precarious, precise, precisianistic,
precisionistic, prickly, proficient, proper, prudent, prudish,
pubescent, punctilious, punctual, puny, puristic, queasy, quiet,
rare, rarefied, receptive, recherche, refined, regardful,
religious, religiously exact, responsive, rigid, rigorous, rough,
rugged, sad, sapid, satin, satiny, savorous, savory, scientific,
scientifically exact, scissile, scrumptious, scrupulous,
scrutinizing, seemly, select, selective, semigloss, sensible,
sensitive, set with thorns, severe, shatterable, shattery, shivery,
sickly, silky, simple, sissified, skittish, sleazy, slender,
slenderish, slight, slight-made, slim, slimmish, slinky, slippery,
slippy, small, smooth, sober, soft, soft as putty, soft-colored,
soft-hued, softened, softhearted, solicitous, somber,
sophisticated, spiny, splintery, square, squeamish, steep, sticky,
strenuous, strict, subdued, subtile, subtle, succulent, superior,
supersensitive, susceptible, svelte, sweet, sylphlike, sympathetic,
tacky, tactful, tactical, tasty, tender, tenderhearted, tenuous,
tetchy, thin, thin-bodied, thin-set, thin-skinned, thin-spun,
thinnish, thorny, thoughtful, threadlike, ticklish, toilsome,
tolerant, toothsome, touch-and-go, touchy, tough, tricky,
uncertain, undeviating, unerring, unhealthy, unpredictable,
unsubstantial, uphill, vague, velutinous, velvety, volatile,
vulnerable, warmhearted, wary, wasp-waisted, watered, watered-down,
watery, weak, weakened, whisper-soft, wicked, willowy, wiredrawn,
wispy, womanish, yummy