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 Her epic tattoo collection is made up of at least eight statement pieces, from a teeny-tiny ankle piece to watercolour art and a dainty bracelet, all ranging in size and placement. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Scarlett Johansson’s Oscars After-Party Dress Reveals Her Mysterious Rib Tattoo," 10 Feb. 2020 From Cynthia Erivo's chunky silver studs to Scarlett Johansson's dainty gold hoops, the celebrity piercings ahead just might convince you to add a few new holes to your earring family. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Constellation Piercings Were All Over The SAG Awards Red Carpet," 20 Jan. 2020 Professional peacockers such as Harry Styles, Ezra Miller, Lil Nas X, and more took the plunge by experimenting with murses—that’s a man purse, by the way—and dainty jewelry that could easily have been borrowed from the girls. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Go Bold or Go Home! The 6 Most Unexpected Celebrity Trends of the Year," 27 Nov. 2019 The singer completed the look with dainty silver jewelry. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Britney Spears Steps Out with Boyfriend Sam Asghari 2 Days After Conservatorship Hearing," 20 Sep. 2019 For her camp-inspired look, the star turned her manicure into a literal charm bracelet, and debuted nails that was covered in dainty jewelry. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "The Best Celebrity Manicures," 19 Aug. 2019 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

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 21 Feb. 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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