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Meaning & Definition of Delicate in English

English

Delicate

/dɛləkət/

adjective

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"
    synonym:
  • delicate

2. Marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique

  • "A surgeon's delicate touch"
    synonym:
  • delicate

3. Easily broken or damaged or destroyed

  • "A kite too delicate to fly safely"
  • "Fragile porcelain plates"
  • "Fragile old bones"
  • "A frail craft"
    synonym:
  • delicate
  • ,
  • fragile
  • ,
  • frail

4. Easily hurt

  • "Soft hands"
  • "A baby's delicate skin"
    synonym:
  • delicate
  • ,
  • soft

5. Developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety

  • "The satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"
    synonym:
  • 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"
    synonym:
  • 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"
    synonym:
  • delicate

Examples of using

She put me in a delicate situation.
Happiness is a delicate flower.
Speaking of religious matters is a delicate issue.