dainty

noun
dain·​ty | \ ˈdān-tē How to pronounce dainty (audio) \
plural dainties

Definition of dainty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something delicious to the taste a London dainty—a pyramid of jelly— Virginia Woolf
b : something choice or pleasing
2 obsolete : fastidiousness

dainty

adjective
daintier; daintiest

Definition of dainty (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : tasting good : tasty dainty morsels
b : attractively prepared and served dainty sandwiches on silver trays
2 : marked by delicate or diminutive beauty, form, or grace dainty teacups took a dainty sip
3 obsolete : chary, reluctant … let us not be dainty of leave-taking …— Shakespeare
4a : marked by fastidious discrimination or finicky taste
b : showing avoidance of anything rough gentry too dainty to risk blisters on their hands— G. W. Johnson

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Other Words from dainty

Adjective

daintily \ ˈdān-​tə-​lē How to pronounce daintily (audio) \ adverb
daintiness \ ˈdān-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce daintiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dainty

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for dainty

Adjective

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

Examples of dainty in a Sentence

Noun the widow plied her suitor with dainties and endless glasses of sherry Adjective Her hair was decorated with dainty pink flowers. the girl's dainty little hands The dancers' dainty steps were followed by a series of leaps. She took a dainty sip of tea from her teacup. They served dainty sandwiches on silver trays. The food was served in dainty portions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once established and happy in its home, best to not pair it with garden dainties lest they get steamrolled out of the garden. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Try this trio of pollinator plants for your Kentucky summer garden," 19 July 2019 This was a dainty, pinkish-brown bean of uncommon taste and velvety texture, grown in Hidalgo. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "The Hunt for Mexico’s Heirloom Beans," 17 Apr. 2018 Though both have great taste in accessories, Markle often chooses dainty, gold pieces while Middleton picks timeless statements like a silver watch. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Here's the Major Difference Between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's Style," 28 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Now, this handgun will likely never be an everyday carry gun in an urban setting (it’s not exactly a dainty pistol). Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "Why The 10mm is The Ultimate Handgun Cartridge for Hunting and Personal Defense (Plus 8 of Best Pistols You Can Buy)," 23 June 2020 One Japanese way to present potato salad – and myriad other foods – is to carefully arrange a dainty portion in a little dish. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Which potato salad will show up at your picnic? There's a world of variations," 22 May 2020 The automaton dances in dainty circles to the rhythm of a drip algorithm as hot water trickles into the filter. NBC News, "Robot waiters, video doctors: SKorea moves to less personal contact," 20 May 2020 Such crowd-pleasing Middle Eastern appetizers as Turkey’s dainty Manti dumplings, rich Zucchini and Feta Fritters, and snackable Koftas. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "53 Best Middle Eastern Recipes," 18 May 2020 Save $11: This thoughtful birthstone necklace With a perfect five-star rating from more than 2,600 reviewers, this dainty Toozy Studio Birthstone Necklace, which is available in silver, gold or rose gold, is sure to be a hit. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "The 5 best personalized gifts you can get for mom at a steal," 1 May 2020 Choral chants start dainty and small, sailing into haunting crescendos. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, "In an endless news cycle, art at Glenstone both echoes and quiets the chaos," 30 Jan. 2020 The dainty-hearted Queen Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) learns that Barb (Rachel Bloom), who rules the Rock Trolls, wants to eradicate all other kinds of music, not least the meaningless pop that lends both value and depth to Poppy’s existence. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Streaming Releases Test the Waters of a Changed Industry," 1 May 2020 At Mansur Gavriel’s September 9 show, a couple models donned a more delicate take on the trend, with a handful of dainty flowers strewn throughout their locks. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Rodarte and Mansur Gavriel New York Fashion Week 2018 Models Wore Floral Hair Accessories," 10 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dainty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dainty

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dainty

Noun and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for dainty

Time Traveler

The first known use of dainty was in the 14th century

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Statistics for dainty

Cite this Entry

“Dainty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dainty. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dainty

dainty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dainty

: small and pretty
: done with small and careful movements
of food : attractive and served in small amounts

dainty

noun
dain·​ty | \ ˈdān-tē How to pronounce dainty (audio) \
plural dainties

Kids Definition of dainty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a delicious food : delicacy

dainty

adjective
daintier; daintiest

Kids Definition of dainty (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : tasting good
2 : pretty in a delicate way dainty flowers
3 : having or showing delicate or finicky taste He is a dainty eater.

Other Words from dainty

daintily \ ˈdān-​tə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on dainty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dainty

Spanish Central: Translation of dainty

Nglish: Translation of dainty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dainty for Arabic Speakers

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