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 This is not a dainty crossbow, though, and all that accuracy added some heft to it: The bare bow weighs in at 11 pounds. Tony Hansen, Outdoor Life, "The Hottest New Hunting Crossbows for 2020," 12 Jan. 2020 Bellisario styled the chic black look with a sleek, straight hairstyle and subtle smokey eye makeup, accessorizing with dainty hoop earrings and her wedding ring. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Troian Bellisario Reveals She Wore 'Half My Wedding Dress' to 2020 Golden Globes Party," 6 Jan. 2020 The second outfit, then, is perhaps the nightgown’s elegant foil: a sleek, form-fitting black cocktail dress, capped with dainty bows on the straps, that closed the show’s season one finale. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Two Dresses From ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Are Coming to the Smithsonian," 17 Dec. 2019 But inulin is an enormous molecule, and yeasts prefer to feast on dainty morsels. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: How Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant highlights quality Tequila in its margaritas," 30 Dec. 2019 Maybe AirPods keep falling out of her dainty ear canals? Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Forget AirPods—Bella Hadid Is Bringing Back the Humble Wire Headphone," 16 Dec. 2019 Speaking of fans and friends, one of Adelaide’s favorite pastimes is to wipe her mouth (not cheeks) on whoever is closest to her, paired with her soft and dainty purrs and meows to show her gratitude. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Adelaide and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 13 Dec. 2019 Explore Helena’s dainty streets, cafés or offices and almost only white faces appear. The Economist, "Denying opportunities costs What America could lose by curtailing refugee resettlement," 5 Dec. 2019 This chunky sweater dress would look fantastic paired with dainty gold jewelry and heeled booties. Brittany Loggins, NBC News, "9 stylish — and cozy — sweater dresses that are perfect for work," 2 Dec. 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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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.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dainty. Accessed 22 January 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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