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

Other Words from dainty

Adjective

daintily \ ˈdān-​tə-​lē How to pronounce dainty (audio) \ adverb
daintiness \ ˈdān-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce dainty (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The three dainty jewels subbing as highlight is the perfect subtle shine. ELLE, 3 May 2022 Lazar’s Duncan dainty and handsy, Maria Dizzia’s Lady Macduff heartbreakingly resolute. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 From delicate dots to dainty daisies, each of these 30 manicures is the perfect way to celebrate the start of the new season. Sara Miranda, Allure, 31 Mar. 2022 There is a bow just below the V, some dainty buttons silver buttons down the middle, and embellished silver and gold cuffs at the cuffs. Carrie Wittmer, Glamour, 28 Mar. 2022 Verbena Cake Pops Pink and Purple: These are new annuals that grow to 15 to 18 inches and produce dainty clusters of flowers all summer, Butson said. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Mar. 2022 Pairing her dainty look with some sick platform riding boots from Loewe, Addison strikes the perfect balance of sweet and saucy. Seventeen, 24 Mar. 2022 In addition, Kate often sports dainty, white Superga sneakers, while Meghan has worn classic Stan Smith Adidas. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 23 Mar. 2022 For smaller items like rings, earbuds, and keys, opt for a dainty trinket tray like this one from Warmtree. Sanah Faroke, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Meghan clearly has an affinity for dainty gold earrings, like this pair of butterfly studs, which once belonged to her late-mother-in-law. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 16 Apr. 2022 Hourglass's applicator is perfect for small, dainty tats. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 14 Apr. 2022 DeBose accessorized the hot pink dress with a dainty diamond necklace and opted for a smoky eye blended in with pink shadow for good measure, and a glossy nude lip. Pamela Avila, USA TODAY, 28 Feb. 2022 From dainty Jewish star studs to glimmering evil eye necklaces, top players in the entertainment industry are bedecking themselves in bijoux representing religions, cultures and traditions. Malina Saval, Variety, 24 Mar. 2022 Styled by Jahleel Weaver, Rihanna paired a custom silver Coperni crop top with cutouts above her chest with a low-rise glittery maxi skirt, leaving her stomach completely exposed and adorned with a dainty diamond piece by Messika Paris. Whitney Perry, Glamour, 13 Mar. 2022 Seems strange though, that such a diminutive and dainty flower would get so much attention. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 11 Mar. 2022 Their tableaux for the Homeric epics, featured in the monograph, have an arresting duality, with elongated figures of gods and humans that seem at once light on dainty feet yet also weighty in posture and import. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2022 Then, there was Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s lineup, which pushed the back-to-party agenda with silver, metallic mini dresses with distressed mesh that looked dainty enough to snap if one dance move went awry. Frances Solá-santiago, refinery29.com, 24 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Middle English deinte, dainte "state of honor, high esteem, delight, luxury, marvel, delicacy, choice morsel," borrowed from Anglo-French deinté, dainté "esteem, fine object or deed, choice morsel" (continental Old French deintié), going back to Latin dignitāt-, dignitās "suitability, excellence, standing, esteem" — more at dignity

Adjective

Middle English deinte "excellent, delightful, (of food or drink) fine, delicious," adjective derivative of deinte, dainte "high esteem, delight, luxury, delicacy, choice morsel" — more at dainty entry 1

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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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Dictionary Entries Near dainty

daintith

dainty

daiquiri

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Statistics for dainty

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dainty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dainty. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dainty

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dainty

Nglish: Translation of dainty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dainty for Arabic Speakers

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