dainty

noun
dain·​ty | \ˈdān-tē \
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 \ adverb
daintiness \ˈdān-​tē-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dainty

Synonyms: Noun

bit, cate [archaic], delectable, delicacy, goody (or goodie), kickshaw, tidbit (also titbit), treat, viand

Synonyms: Adjective

choosy (or choosey), delicate, demanding, exacting, fastidious, finical, finicking, finicky, fussbudgety, fussy, nice, old-maidish, particular, pernickety [chiefly British], persnickety, picky

Antonyms: Adjective

undemanding, unfastidious, unfussy

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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

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

Wickstead’s take on beachwear, from dainty floral one-pieces to mod cover-ups, was well executed and well suited to her customer, and combined with the otherworldly beauty of the scenery, the presentation was a highlight of the week. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "What’s Up Down Under? A Report From Fashion Week in Sydney," 24 May 2018 The dress featured bell sleeves and dainty embellishments on the outer layer, which was sheer. Cady Lang, Time, "25 Classic Royal Wedding Dresses That Could Inspire Meghan Markle," 3 May 2018 Sasha looked stunning in a Jill Jill Stuart red silk dress and dainty gold layered necklaces for the special occasion. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sasha Obama Looked Stunning In Red At Her Sweet 16 Party," 12 June 2017 Now the brand is even making surprisingly dainty Croc stilettos. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Venus X Pulls Off Those Impossible Balenciaga Platform Crocs," 16 Oct. 2018 Hoda wowed in a floor-length dusty rose gown with dainty gold accessories. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Wait Until You See What Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie from 'Today' Wore to the Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 This gorgeous dainty moon necklace is made with solid 14k yellow gold and .08 total carat weight in diamonds. Sunset, "10 Unique Graduation Gifts," 22 Jan. 2018 Meghan also chose to wear her hair in a low bun, and opted for dainty diamond earrings from Plaisirs de Birks. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle Just Stepped Out in the Most Stunning Black Dress," 19 Apr. 2018 The leaves are dark and glossy, and their flowers are dainty, pale pink and white. Rachel Swalin, ELLE Decor, "How To Arrange Flowers For The Most Stunning Homemade Bouquets," 21 June 2017

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

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

Adjective

see dainty entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near dainty

daint

daintify

daintith

dainty

daiquiri

dairy

dairy breed

Statistics for dainty

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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 \
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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