What does subtle mean?

Definitions for subtle
ˈsʌt lsub·tle

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. elusive, subtleadjective

    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze

    "his whole attitude had undergone a subtle change"; "a subtle difference"; "that elusive thing the soul"

  2. subtleadjective

    able to make fine distinctions

    "a subtle mind"

  3. insidious, pernicious, subtleadjective

    working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

    "glaucoma is an insidious disease"; "a subtle poison"

Wiktionary

  1. subtleadjective

    Hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable.

    The difference is subtle, but you can hear it if you listen carefully.

    Etymology: From sotil, subtil, from soutil, later subtil, subtil, from subtilis; probably, originally, “woven fine”, and from sub + tela, from texere.

  2. subtleadjective

    Cleverly contrived.

    Etymology: From sotil, subtil, from soutil, later subtil, subtil, from subtilis; probably, originally, “woven fine”, and from sub + tela, from texere.

  3. subtleadjective

    Cunning, skillful.

    Etymology: From sotil, subtil, from soutil, later subtil, subtil, from subtilis; probably, originally, “woven fine”, and from sub + tela, from texere.

  4. subtleadjective

    insidious

    Etymology: From sotil, subtil, from soutil, later subtil, subtil, from subtilis; probably, originally, “woven fine”, and from sub + tela, from texere.

  5. subtleadjective

    Tenuous; rarefied; of low density or thin consistency.

    Etymology: From sotil, subtil, from soutil, later subtil, subtil, from subtilis; probably, originally, “woven fine”, and from sub + tela, from texere.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Subtle

    sly in design; artful; cunning; insinuating; subtile; -- applied to persons; as, a subtle foe

  2. Subtle

    cunningly devised; crafty; treacherous; as, a subtle stratagem

  3. Subtle

    characterized by refinement and niceness in drawing distinctions; nicely discriminating; -- said of persons; as, a subtle logician; refined; tenuous; sinuous; insinuating; hence, penetrative or pervasive; -- said of the mind; its faculties, or its operations; as, a subtle intellect; a subtle imagination; a subtle process of thought; also, difficult of apprehension; elusive

  4. Subtle

    smooth and deceptive

Freebase

  1. Subtle

    Subtle was an alternative hip hop sextet from Oakland, California. It consisted of Adam Drucker, Jeffrey Logan, Dax Pierson, Jordan Dalrymple, Alexander Kort, and Marty Dowers. The band was formed in 2001. While considered by the artists to be "genreless", Subtle had close ties to the hip hop and indie music scene. Although both Doseone and Jel have strong ties to the Anticon collective, Subtle was not on the Anticon label roster. Subtle was signed to Lex Records.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Subtle

    sut′l (B. Sub′til), adj. subtile in a figurative sense: acute, quick to discern or discriminate: insinuating, sly, artful: cunningly devised, ingenious.—ns. Subt′leness, Subt′lety, quality of being subtle: artfulness: shrewdness: extreme acuteness.—adj. Subt′le-wit′ted, sharp-witted.—adv. Subt′ly (B. Sub′tilly), ingeniously, cleverly: artfully, deceitfully. [Contr. of subtile.]

Suggested Resources

  1. subtle

    Song lyrics by subtle -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by subtle on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'subtle' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4833

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'subtle' in Adjectives Frequency: #659

Anagrams for subtle »

  1. bluets

  2. bluest

  3. bustle

  4. sublet

How to pronounce subtle?

  1. Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Indian

How to say subtle in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of subtle in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of subtle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of subtle in a Sentence

  1. Christine Lagarde:

    That's the moment which I think is the most difficult, the most subtle, and where judgment will have to be applied.

  2. Kedar Joshi:

    God created the world to be praised on the subtle nature of his existence.

  3. Officer Kevin Fry:

    As Mr. Chatman approaches the corner, he makes a slight turn, a subtle turn to the right with his upper body. I see in his right hand a dark gray or black object, it was a small black object, which I believed to be a handgun.

  4. Jim Morrison:

    Some people surrender their freedom willingly but others are forced to surrender it. Imprisonment begins with birth. Society, parents they refuse to allow you to keep the freedom you were born with. There are subtle ways to punish a person for daring to feel. You see that everyone around you has destroyed his true feeling nature. You imitate what you see.

  5. Justin Amash:

    Barr's misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which Attorney General Barr hopes people will not notice.

Images & Illustrations of subtle

  1. subtlesubtlesubtlesubtlesubtle

Popularity rank by frequency of use

subtle#1#9840#10000

Translations for subtle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a fabric with a nap that is longer and softer than velvet
    • A. blistering
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