Del"i*ca*cy (?), n.; pl. Delicacies (#). [From Delicate, a.]


The state or condition of being delicate; agreeableness to the senses; delightfulness; as, delicacy of flavor, of odor, and the like.

What choice to choose for delicacy best. Milton.


Nicety or fineness of form, texture, or constitution; softness; elegance; smoothness; tenderness; and hence, frailty or weakness; as, the delicacy of a fiber or a thread; delicacy of a hand or of the human form; delicacy of the skin; delicacy of frame.


Nice propriety of manners or conduct; susceptibility or tenderness of feeling; refinement; fastidiousness; and hence, in an exaggerated sense, effeminacy; as, great delicacy of behavior; delicacy in doing a kindness; delicacy of character that unfits for earnest action.

You know your mother's delicacy in this point. Cowper.


Addiction to pleasure; luxury; daintiness; indulgence; luxurious or voluptuous treatment.

And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent For gentle usage and soft delicacy? Milton.


Nice and refined perception and discrimination; critical niceness; fastidious accuracy.

That Augustan delicacy of taste which is the boast of the great public schools of England. Macaulay.


The state of being affected by slight causes; sensitiveness; as, the delicacy of a chemist's balance.


That which is alluring, delicate, or refined; a luxury or pleasure; something pleasant to the senses, especially to the sense of taste; a dainty; as, delicacies of the table.

The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Rev. xviii. 3.


Pleasure; gratification; delight.


He Rome brent for his delicacie. Chaucer.

Syn. -- See Dainty.


© Webster 1913.