- The definition of dainty is delicate or small and often pretty.
An example of something dainty is a tiny little teacup with a beautiful design on it.
This tiny tea set is very dainty.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: Middle English deinte, excellent, fine, origin, originally , feeling of esteem ; from Anglo-French deinté ; from Old French deinté ; from Classical Latin dignitas, worth, dignity
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adjective dain·ti·er, dain·ti·est
- Delicately beautiful or charming; exquisite: “No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year” (Walt Whitman).
- Delicious or choice. See Synonyms at delicate.
- Of refined taste; discriminating.
- Overly fastidious; squeamish.
Origin: Middle English deinte, excellent, excellence, from Old French deintie, from Latin dignitās, from dignus, worthy; see dek- in Indo-European roots.
- dainˈti·ly adverb
- dainˈti·ness noun