- Delicacy is defined as the state of being fragile, frail, soft or subtle, or refers to a gourmet food.
- A person who is sickly and frail and who looks as if a strong wind would blow him over is an example of someone who would be described as having a delicacy about him.
- A flower with a subtle, gentle beauty is an example of something with a delicacy.
- Caviar is an example of a delicacy.
These caviar appetizers are a delicacy.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- the quality of being delicate as in taste, odor, or texture
- fragile beauty or graceful slightness, softness, etc.; fineness: the delicacy of a petal, of spun glass, or of a child's face
- weakness of constitution or health; frailty
- the quality or condition of needing careful and deft handling: negotiations of great delicacy
- fineness of feeling, observation, or appreciation: delicacy of musical taste
- sensitiveness of response: the delicacy of a compass
- fineness of touch, skill, etc.
- a fine regard for the feelings of others
- a sensitive or, sometimes, finicky distaste for what is considered improper or offensive
- a choice food: caviar and other delicacies
- Obsolete luxuriousness
Origin: Middle English delicacie ; from Midieval Latin delicacia ; from Classical Latin delicatus: see delicate
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noun pl. del·i·ca·cies
- The quality of being delicate.
- Something pleasing and appealing, especially a choice food.
- Fineness of appearance, construction, or execution; elegance: brushwork of great delicacy.
- Frailty of bodily constitution or health.
- Sensitivity of perception, discrimination, or taste; refinement.
- a. Sensitivity to the feelings of others; tact: phrased the apology with delicacy.b. Sensitivity to what is proper; propriety.c. Undue sensitivity to or concern with what may be considered offensive or improper; squeamishness: scenes that might offend a viewer's delicacy.
- The need for tact in treatment or handling: a topic of some delicacy.
- Sensitivity to very small changes; precision: the delicacy of a set of scales.
Origin: Middle English delicacie, from delicat, delicate; see delicate.