What does subtlety mean?

Definitions for subtletyˈsʌt l ti

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nuance, nicety, shade, subtlety, refinement(noun)

    a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

    "without understanding the finer nuances you can't enjoy the humor"; "don't argue about shades of meaning"

  2. subtlety, niceness(noun)

    the quality of being difficult to detect or analyze

    "you had to admire the subtlety of the distinctions he drew"


  1. subtlety(Noun)

    The quality or fact of being subtle.

    With all his usual subtlety, he quietly fixed the problem before anyone else noticed it.

  2. subtlety(Noun)

    An instance of being subtle, a subtle thing, especially a subtle argument or distinction.

    The subtleties of this overture are often overlooked.

  3. subtlety(Noun)

    An ornate medieval illusion dish or table decoration, especially when made from one thing but crafted to look like another.

    At the king's coronation feast, several subtleties were served between main courses.

  4. Origin: From sutilté, from subtilitas, from subtilis.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Subtlety(noun)

    the quality or state of being subtle, or sly; cunning; craftiness; artfulness

  2. Subtlety(noun)

    nice discernment with delicacy of mental action; nicety of discrimination

  3. Subtlety(noun)

    something that is sly, crafty, or delusive

  4. Origin: [OE. sotelte, sutilte, OF. sotillete, L. subtilitas. See Subtle, and cf. Subtility.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of subtlety in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of subtlety in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Isaac Asimov:

    It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.

  2. Francis Bacon:

    The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.

  3. Sun Tzu:

    O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.

  4. Scot Glasberg:

    Subtlety has been the keyword I’ve heard from patients over the past year, minimally invasive procedures typically produce subtle aesthetic results and for many people, that is all they want or need at the time.

  5. Leo Buscaglia:

    Perfect love is rare indeed - for to be a lover will require that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of the child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the scholar and the fortitude of the certain.

Images & Illustrations of subtlety

  1. subtletysubtletysubtlety

Translations for subtlety

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"subtlety." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 22 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/subtlety>.

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