What does delicate mean?

Definitions for delicate
ˈdɛl ɪ kɪtdel·i·cate

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word delicate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. delicate(adj)

    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. delicate(adj)

    marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique

    "a surgeon's delicate touch"

  3. delicate, fragile, frail(adj)

    easily broken or damaged or destroyed

    "a kite too delicate to fly safely"; "fragile porcelain plates"; "fragile old bones"; "a frail craft"

  4. delicate, soft(adj)

    easily hurt

    "soft hands"; "a baby's delicate skin"

  5. finespun, delicate(adj)

    developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety

    "the satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"

  6. delicate, ticklish, touchy(adj)

    difficult to handle; requiring great tact

    "delicate negotiations with the big powers";"hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter"; "a touchy subject"

  7. delicate(adj)

    of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely

    "almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments"


  1. delicate(Noun)

    A delicate item of clothing, especially underwear or lingerie.

    Don't put that in with your jeans: it's a delicate!

  2. delicate(Noun)

    A choice dainty; a delicacy.

    With abstinence all delicates he sees. uE000104742uE001 Dryden.

  3. delicate(Noun)

    A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.

    All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, uE000104743uE001 those I mean that would seem to be more fine in their houses than their neighbours, uE000104744uE001 are only of the Corinth metal. uE000104745uE001 Holland.

  4. delicate(Adjective)

    Easily damaged or requiring careful handling.

  5. delicate(Adjective)

    Characterized by a fine structure or thin lines.

  6. delicate(Adjective)

    Intended for use with fragile items.

    Set the washing machine to the delicate cycle

  7. delicate(Adjective)

    Of weak health, easily sick.

  8. delicate(Adjective)

    Unwell, especially because of having drunk too much alcohol.

    Please don't speak so loudly - I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning

Webster Dictionary

  1. Delicate(adj)

    addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring

  2. Delicate(adj)

    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. Delicate(adj)

    slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, "a delicate creature."

  4. Delicate(adj)

    fine or slender; minute; not coarse; -- said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton

  5. Delicate(adj)

    slight or smooth; light and yielding; -- said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk

  6. Delicate(adj)

    soft and fair; -- said of the skin or a surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate complexion

  7. Delicate(adj)

    light, or softly tinted; -- said of a color; as, a delicate blue

  8. Delicate(adj)

    refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; -- said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness

  9. Delicate(adj)

    tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail; effeminate; -- said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a delicate child; delicate health

  10. Delicate(adj)

    requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or question

  11. Delicate(adj)

    of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious

  12. Delicate(adj)

    nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music

  13. Delicate(adj)

    affected by slight causes; showing slight changes; as, a delicate thermometer

  14. Delicate(noun)

    a choice dainty; a delicacy

  15. Delicate(noun)

    a delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person

  16. Origin: [L. delicatus pleasing the senses, voluptuous, soft and tender; akin to deliciae delight: cf. F. dlicat. See Delight.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Delicate

    del′i-kāt, adj. pleasing to the senses, esp. the taste: dainty: nicely discriminating or perceptive: of a fine, slight texture or constitution: tender: frail, not robust: requiring nice handling: refined in manners: gentle, polite, considerate: luxurious.—n. Del′icacy, state or quality of being delicate: refinement: nicety: tenderness, weakness: luxuriousness: anything delicate or dainty.—adv. Del′icately, in a delicate manner: (B.) luxuriously.—n. Del′icateness, state of being delicate: (B.) delicacy, luxury.—n.pl. Del′icates (B.), delicacies. [L. delicātusdeliciæ, allurements, luxury—delicĕrede, inten., lacĕre, to entice.]

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'delicate' in Adjectives Frequency: #676

How to pronounce delicate?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say delicate in sign language?

  1. delicate


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of delicate in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of delicate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of delicate in a Sentence

  1. John Bolton:

    It's a very delicate moment.

  2. Ulrich Roux:

    For her it's a delicate balancing act.

  3. Erika Guevara-Rosas:

    It is an extremely delicate time in the Americas.

  4. Jen Ramsey:

    Be patient - let yourself unfurl one delicate leaf at a time.

  5. De Watteville:

    Right now we are in a situation that is both delicate and paradoxical.

Images & Illustrations of delicate

  1. delicatedelicatedelicatedelicatedelicate

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for delicate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • delicatCatalan, Valencian
  • jemný, choulostivý, rozklepanýCzech
  • zart, hochempfindlich, empfindlich, filigran, anmutig, grazil, wählerisch, delikat, schwächlich, köstlich, anfällig, angeschlagen, erlesen, sanft, leicht, zierlich, feingliedrig, empfindsam, feinfühlig, anspruchsvoll, ausgesuchtGerman
  • delikatsenta, delikataEsperanto
  • delicadoSpanish
  • herkkäFinnish
  • délicatFrench
  • leiceIrish
  • halusIndonesian
  • delikatNorwegian
  • delikatnyPolish
  • delicadoPortuguese
  • delicatRomanian
  • изящный, изысканный, хрупкий, болезненный, деликатный, разбитыйRussian
  • సున్నితమైనTelugu

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"delicate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 20 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/delicate>.

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