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.]

1.

Value; estimation; the gratification or pleasure taken in anything.

[Obs.]

I ne told no deyntee of her love. Chaucer.

2.

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.

3.

A term of fondness.

[Poetic]

B. Jonson.

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.

These delicacies I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers, Walks and the melody of birds. Milton.

[A table] furnished plenteously with bread, And dainties, remnants of the last regale. Cowper.

 

© Webster 1913.


Dain"ty, a. [Compar. Daintier (?); superl. Daintiest.]

1.

Rare; valuable; costly.

[Obs.]

Full many a deynt'e horse had he in stable. Chaucer.

⇒ Hence the proverb "dainty maketh dearth," i. e., rarity makes a thing dear or precious.

2.

Delicious to the palate; toothsome.

Dainty bits Make rich the ribs. Shak.

3.

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

Those dainty limbs which nature lent For gentle usage and soft delicacy. Milton.

Iwould be the girdle. About her dainty, dainty waist. Tennyson.

4.

Requirinig daintles. Hence; Overnice; hard to please; fastidious; sqrupulous; ceremonious.

Thew were a fine and Dainty people. Bacon.

And let us not be dainty of leave taking, But shift away. Shak.

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. Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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