Dictionary > Delicacy


Origin: From delicate.
1. The state or condition of being delicate; agreeableness to the senses; delightfulness; as, delicacy of flavor, of odour, and the like. What choice to choose for delicacy best. (Milton)
2. Nicety or fineness of form, texture, or constitution; softness; elegance; smoothness; tenderness; and hence, frailty or weakness; as, the delicacy of a fibre or a thread; delicacy of a hand or of the human form; delicacy of the skin; delicacy of frame.
3. Nice propriety of manners or conduct; susceptibility or tenderness of feeling; refinement; fastidiousness; and hence, in an exaggerated sense, effeminacy; as, great delicacy of behavior; delicacy in doing a kindness; delicacy of character that unfits for earnest action. You know your mothers delicacy in this point. (Cowper)
4. Addiction to pleasure; luxury; daintiness; indulgence; luxurious or voluptuous treatment. And to those dainty limbs which nature lent For gentle usage and soft delicacy? (Milton)
5. Nice and refined perception and discrimination; critical niceness; fastidious accuracy. That augustan delicacy of taste which is the boast of the great public schools of England. (Macaulay)
6. The state of being affected by slight causes; sensitiveness; as, the delicacy of a chemists balance.
7. That which is alluring, delicate, or refined; a luxury or pleasure; something pleasant to the senses, especially to the sense of taste; a dainty; as, delicacies of the table. The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (rev. Xviii. 3)
8. Pleasure; gratification; delight. He Rome brent for his delicacie. (Chaucer)
Synonym: see dainty.

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