Del"i*cate (?), a. [L. delicatus pleasing the senses, voluptuous, soft and tender; akin to deliciae delight: cf. F. d'elicat. See Delight.]


Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.


Dives, for his delicate life, to the devil went. Piers Plowman.

Haarlem is a very delicate town. Evelyn.


Pleasing to the senses; refinedly; hence, adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice; fine; elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate flavor.


Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, "a delicate creature."



Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; -- said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton.


Slight or smooth; light and yielding; -- said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk.


Soft and fair; -- said of the skin or a surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate complexion.


Light, or softly tinted; -- said of a color; as; as, a delicate blue.


Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; -- said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness.


Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail; effeminate; -- said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a delicate child; delicate health.

A delicate and tender prince. Shak.


Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or question.

There are some things too delicate and too sacred to be handled rudely without injury to truth. F. W. Robertson.


Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.


Nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music.


Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes; as, a delicate thermometer.


© Webster 1913.

Del"i*cate, n.


A choice dainty; a delicacy.


With abstinence all delicates he sees. Dryden.


A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.

All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, -- those I mean that would seem to be more fine in their houses than their neighbors, -- are only of the Corinth metal. Holland.


© Webster 1913.

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