- Subtlety is defined as having indirect or small distinctions.
An example of subtlety is when a painter uses slightly different colors to create a beautiful, detailed painting.
- the quality or condition of being subtle; esp., the ability or tendency to make fine distinctions
- pl. subtleties something subtle; esp., a fine distinction
Origin of subtletyMiddle English sutelte ; from Old French sotillete ; from Classical Latin subtilitas
- The quality or state of being subtle.
- Something subtle, especially a nicety of thought or a fine distinction.
(countable and uncountable, plural subtleties)
- (uncountable) The quality or fact of being subtle.
- With all his usual subtlety, he quietly fixed the problem before anyone else noticed it.
- (countable) An instance of being subtle, a subtle thing, especially a subtle argument or distinction.
- The subtleties of this overture are often overlooked.
- (countable) An ornate medieval illusion dish or table decoration, especially when made from one thing but crafted to look like another.
- At the king's coronation feast, several subtleties were served between main courses.
From Old French sutiltÃ©, from Latin subtÄ«litÄs, from subtÄ«lis (“subtle").