- fine in texture, quality, construction, etc.: a delicate lace collar.
- fragile; easily damaged; frail: delicate porcelain; a delicate child.
- so fine as to be scarcely perceptible; subtle: a delicate flavor.
- soft or faint, as color: a delicate shade of pink.
- fine or precise in action or execution; capable of responding to the slightest influence: a delicate instrument.
- requiring great care, caution, or tact: a delicate international situation.
- distinguishing subtle differences: a delicate eye; a delicate sense of smell.
- exquisite or refined in perception or feeling; sensitive.
- regardful of what is becoming, proper, etc.: a delicate sense of propriety.
- mindful of or sensitive to the feelings of others: a delicate refusal.
- dainty or choice, as food: delicate tidbits.
- primly fastidious; squeamish: not a movie for the delicate viewer.
- Obsolete. sensuous; voluptuous.
- Archaic. a choice food; delicacy.
- Obsolete. a source of pleasure; luxury.
- exquisite, fine, or subtle in quality, character, construction, etc
- having a soft or fragile beauty
- (of colour, tone, taste, etc) pleasantly subtle, soft, or faint
- easily damaged or injured; lacking robustness, esp in health; fragile
- precise, skilled, or sensitive in action or operationa delicate mechanism
- requiring tact and diplomacy
- sensitive in feeling or manner; showing regard for the feelings of others
- excessively refined; squeamish
- archaic a delicacy; dainty
late 14c., “self-indulgent, loving ease; delightful; sensitive, easily hurt; feeble,” from Latin delicatus “alluring, delightful, dainty,” also “addicted to pleasure, luxurious, effeminate;” of uncertain origin; related by folk etymology (and perhaps genuinely) to deliciae “a pet,” and delicere “to allure, entice” (see delicious). Meaning “easily broken” is recorded from 1560s.