a. Characterized by highly skilled or intricate art; excellently made or formed: an exquisite gold chalice.
b. Extremely or delightfully beautiful: the exquisite colors of a sunset.
- Excellent or outstanding, especially by exhibiting or appealing to refined taste: “A guy who knew all the jazz spots and had an exquisite collection of old 78s” ( Shirley Abbott )
- Extremely subtle or precise: an image rendered in exquisite detail.
- Intense; keen: exquisite delight; suffered exquisite pain.
- Obsolete Ingeniously devised or thought out.
One who is excessively fastidious in dress, manners, or taste.
Origin of exquisite
Middle English exquisit carefully chosen from
Latin exquīsītus past participle of exquīrere to search out ex- ex- quaerere to seek
Usage Note: The traditional pronunciation of exquisite has stress on the first syllable (ĕk′skwĭ-zĭt), rhyming roughly with requisite . Although the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable—(ĭk-skwĭz′ĭt), rhyming roughly with exhibit —is newer, it was preferred by 64 percent of the Usage Panel in the 2011 survey.
(comparative more exquisite, superlative most exquisite)
- Especially fine or pleasing; exceptional.
- They sell good coffee and pastries, but their chocolate is exquisite.
- Sourav Ganguly scored an exquisite century in his debut Test match.
- Recherché; far-fetched; abstruse.
- Of special beauty or rare excellence.
- Exceeding; extreme; keen, in a bad or a good sense.
- exquisite pain or pleasure
- Of delicate perception or close and accurate discrimination; not easy to satisfy; exact; fastidious.
- exquisite judgment, taste, or discernment
- (rare) Fop, dandy. [from early 20th c.]
From Latin exquīsītus, perfect passive participle of exquīrō (“seek out”).