Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

dainty

play
noun dain·ty \ˈdān-tē\

Definition of dainty

plural dainties

  1. 1 a :  something delicious to the taste b :  something choice or pleasing

  2. 2 obsolete :  fastidiousness



Examples of dainty in a sentence

  1. <the widow plied her suitor with dainties and endless glasses of sherry>



Origin of dainty

Middle English deinte high esteem, delight, from Anglo-French deinté, from Latin dignitat-, dignitas dignity, worth


First Known Use: 14th century


2

dainty

adjective dain·ty

Simple Definition of dainty

  • : small and pretty

  • : done with small and careful movements

  • of food : attractive and served in small amounts

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dainty

daintierdaintiest

  1. 1 a :  tasting good :  tasty b :  attractively prepared and served

  2. 2 :  marked by delicate or diminutive beauty, form, or grace <dainty teacups>

  3. 3 obsolete :  chary, reluctant

  4. 4 a :  marked by fastidious discrimination or finicky taste b :  showing avoidance of anything rough

daintily play \ˈdān-tə-lē\ adverb
daintiness play \ˈdān-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of dainty in a sentence

  1. Her hair was decorated with dainty pink flowers.

  2. the girl's dainty little hands

  3. The dancers' dainty steps were followed by a series of leaps.

  4. She took a dainty sip of tea from her teacup.

  5. They served dainty sandwiches on silver trays.

  6. The food was served in dainty portions.



14th Century

First Known Use of dainty

14th century

Synonym Discussion of dainty

choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen. choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely <freedom of choice>. option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed <the option of paying now or later>. alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility <equally attractive alternatives>. preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections <a preference for cool weather>. selection implies a range of choice <a varied selection of furniture>. election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment <doing a tax return forces certain elections on you>.

choice, exquisite, elegant, rare, delicate, dainty mean having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste. choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind <choice fabric>. exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste <an exquisite gold bracelet>. elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste <a sumptuous but elegant dining room>. rare suggests an uncommon excellence <rare beauty>. delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility <delicate craftsmanship>. dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate <dainty sandwiches>.

DAINTY Defined for Kids

1

dainty

play
noun dain·ty \ˈdān-tē\

Definition of dainty for Students

plural dainties

  1. :  a delicious food :  delicacy




2

dainty

play
adjective dain·ty

Definition of dainty for Students

daintierdaintiest

  1. 1 :  tasting good

  2. 2 :  pretty in a delicate way <dainty flowers>

  3. 3 :  having or showing delicate or finicky taste <He is a dainty eater.>

daintily \ˈdān-tə-lē\ adverb




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dainty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin oily angry prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ