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 The aftershocks are vibrating deep into the 2020 election cycle, including an Illinois Supreme Court race that might be the first in decades to unfold free of Burke’s dainty fingertips. Kristen Mcqueary, chicagotribune.com, "Judicial slating without Ald. Edward Burke's blessing? It's a start.," 10 June 2019 Polyanthas are generally very generous with their blooms, which normally grow in big clusters of dainty, diminutive flowers on small to medium-size shrubs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Polyantha roses are prolific bloomers and rugged survivors," 12 Sep. 2019 The star accessorized her elegant look with dainty, dangling earrings. Reagan Alexander, PEOPLE.com, "Lady in Red! Rachel Bloom Dresses Up Her Baby Bump in Glam Gown After Announcing Pregnancy," 16 Sep. 2019 Pair typical athleisure attire with a print cardigan, some dainty jewelry, and then throw in a yoga mat for good measure. Caylin Harris, Country Living, "The Best 'Big Little Lies' Costumes That'll Make You One of the Monterey 5 for Halloween," 23 Aug. 2019 Meghan stunned in the dainty butterfly earrings and a gold cuff bracelet featuring diamonds and blue stones, both heirlooms previously worn by Diana. Morgan M. Evans, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton Shares a Sweet Connection to Meghan Markle's New Capsule Clothing Collection," 12 Sep. 2019 Despite the heft of his timbre, Burna’s phrasing always feels fleet, creating a sound that’s incredibly dense and impossibly dainty. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Burna Boy is an ‘African Giant’ with a sound that defies geography," 6 Sep. 2019 And what pairs better with the Crawley family's drama than finger sandwiches, dainty cakes, a nice glass of wine? Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A New Downton Abbey Wine Collection Is the Perfect Way to Toast the Upcoming Film," 4 Sep. 2019 Amelia’s is a study in contrasts: exposed brick walls and dark wood furniture and paneling, all lightened by sweeping windows, hanging plants and dainty antique-style dishes. Liza Weisstuch, BostonGlobe.com, "Tulsa is in the throes of a dining renaissance," 2 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for dainty

Time Traveler for dainty

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

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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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