Dain"ty (?), n.; pl. Dainties (#). [OE. deinie, dainte, deintie, deyntee, OF. deinti'e delicacy, orig., dignity, honor, fr. L. dignitas, fr. dignus worthy. See Deign, and cf. Dignity.]
Value; estimation; the gratification or pleasure taken in anything.
I ne told no deyntee of her love.
That which is delicious or delicate; a delicacy.
That precious nectar may the taste renew
Of Eden's dainties, by our parents lost.
Beau. & Fl.
A term of fondness.
Syn. -- Dainty, Delicacy. These words are here compared as denoting articles of food. The term delicacy as applied to a nice article of any kind, and hence to articles of food which are particularly attractive. Dainty is stronger, and denotes some exquisite article of cookery. A hotel may be provided with all the delicacies of the season, and its table richly covered with dainties.
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,
Walks and the melody of birds.
[A table] furnished plenteously with bread,
And dainties, remnants of the last regale.
© Webster 1913.
Dain"ty, a. [Compar. Daintier (?); superl. Daintiest.]
Rare; valuable; costly.
Full many a deynt'e horse had he in stable.
⇒ Hence the proverb "dainty maketh dearth," i. e., rarity makes a thing dear or precious.
Delicious to the palate; toothsome.
Make rich the ribs.
Nice; delicate;elegant, in form, manner, or breeding; well-formed; neat; tender.
Those dainty limbs which nature lent
For gentle usage and soft delicacy.
Iwould be the girdle.
About her dainty, dainty waist.
Requirinig daintles. Hence; Overnice; hard to please; fastidious; sqrupulous; ceremonious.
Thew were a fine and Dainty people.
And let us not be dainty of leave taking,
But shift away.
To make dainty, to assume or affect delicacy or fastidiousness. [Obs.]
Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all
Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty,
She, I'll swear, hath corns.
© Webster 1913.