What does dainty mean?

Definitions for dainty
ˈdeɪn tidain·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word dainty.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dainty, delicacy, goody, kickshaw, treatadjective

    something considered choice to eat

  2. dainty, mincing, niminy-piminy, prim, tweeadjective

    affectedly dainty or refined

  3. dainty, exquisiteadjective

    delicately beautiful

    "a dainty teacup"; "an exquisite cameo"

  4. daintyadjective

    especially pleasing to the taste

    "a dainty dish to set before a kind";

  5. dainty, nice, overnice, prissy, squeamishadjective

    excessively fastidious and easily disgusted

    "too nice about his food to take to camp cooking"; "so squeamish he would only touch the toilet handle with his elbow"


  1. daintynoun

    Esteem, honour.

  2. daintynoun

    A delicacy.

  3. daintynoun

    Fancy cookies, pastries, or squares served at a social event (usually plural).

  4. daintyadjective

    Excellent; valuable, fine.

  5. daintyadjective

    Delicately small and pretty.

  6. daintyadjective

    Fastidious and fussy when eating.

  7. Etymology: From deintié, from dignitatem.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DAINTYadjective

    Etymology: derived by Stephen Skinner from dain, an old French word for delicate; which yet I cannot find in dictionaries.

    They are all over watery; whereas an higher concoction is required for sweetness, or pleasure of taste, and therefore all your dainty plumbs are a little dry. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    This is the slowest, yet the daintiest sense;
    For ev’n the ears of such as have no skill,
    Perceive a discord, and conceive offence;
    And knowing not what’s good, yet find the ill. Davies.

    They were a fine and dainty people; frugal and yet elegant, though not military. Francis Bacon, Holy War.

    Which of you all
    Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty,
    I’ll swear hath corns. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

    Therefore to horse;
    And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
    But shift away. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    My house, within the city,
    Is richly furnished with plate and gold,
    Basons and ewers to lave her dainty hands. William Shakespeare.

    Why should ye be so cruel to yourself,
    And to those dainty limbs, which nature lent
    For gentle usage, and soft delicacy? John Milton.

    Your dainty speakers have the curse,
    To plead bad causes down to worse. Matthew Prior.

  2. Daintynoun

    Be not desirous of his dainties; for they are deceitful meat. Prov. xxiii. 3.

    A worm breedeth in meal, of the shape of a large white maggot, which is given as a great dainty to nightingales. Francis Bacon.

    She then produc’d her dairy store,
    And unbought dainties of the poor. Dryden.

    The shepherd swains, with sure abundance blest,
    In the fat flock, and rural dainties, feast. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Why, that’s my dainty; I shall miss thee:
    But yet thou shalt have freedom. William Shakespeare, Tempest.

    There is a fortune coming
    Towards you, dainty, that will take thee thus,
    And set thee aloft. Ben Jonson, Catiline.


  1. dainty

    Dainty generally refers to something that is small, delicate, and often considered to be pretty or attractive. In terms of food, it could refer to a delicately prepared, often sweet treat. It can also refer to refined or delicate mannerisms, movements, or behaviors.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Daintynoun

    value; estimation; the gratification or pleasure taken in anything

  2. Daintynoun

    that which is delicious or delicate; a delicacy

  3. Daintynoun

    a term of fondness

  4. Dainty

    rare; valuable; costly

  5. Dainty

    delicious to the palate; toothsome

  6. Dainty

    nice; delicate; elegant, in form, manner, or breeding; well-formed; neat; tender

  7. Dainty

    requiring dainties. Hence: Overnice; hard to please; fastidious; squeamish; scrupulous; ceremonious

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dainty

    dān′ti, adj. pleasant to the palate: delicate: fastidious: (Spens.) elegant.—n. that which is dainty, a delicacy.—adj. Daint (Spens.).—adv. Dain′tily.—n. Dain′tiness. [M. E. deintee, anything worthy or costly. O. Fr. daintié, worthiness—L. dignitat-emdignus, worthy.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dainty is ranked #57781 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Dainty surname appeared 352 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Dainty.

    84.3% or 297 total occurrences were White.
    8.8% or 31 total occurrences were Black.
    2.2% or 8 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.9% or 7 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

How to pronounce dainty?

How to say dainty in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dainty in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dainty in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of dainty in a Sentence

  1. Luigi Barzini:

    They eat the dainty food of gamous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for dainty

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • приди́рчив, лакомство, изи́скан, деликатес, не́женBulgarian
  • amheuthunWelsh
  • zierlichGerman
  • delicadoSpanish
  • valikoiva, siro, nirsoFinnish
  • délicatFrench
  • halusIndonesian
  • delicatoItalian
  • 맛좋은Korean
  • delicaatDutch
  • delicjePolish
  • guloseimaPortuguese
  • не́жный, изы́сканный, ла́комый, привере́дливый, деликате́с, утончённый, приди́рчивый, изя́щный, элега́нтный, ла́комствоRussian
  • izbirljivSerbo-Croatian
  • godbit, läckerhet, delikatess, läckerbitSwedish

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"dainty." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/dainty>.

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    pleasing in appearance especially by reason of conformity to ideals of form and proportion
    A handsome
    B plush
    C noninvasive
    D profound

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