delicacy

noun

del·​i·​ca·​cy ˈde-li-kə-sē How to pronounce delicacy (audio)
plural delicacies
1
: something pleasing to eat that is considered rare or luxurious
considered caviar a delicacy
2
a
: the quality or state of being dainty (see dainty entry 2 sense 2) : fineness
lace of great delicacy
the delicacy of a spider web
b
: frailty sense 1
the delicacy of his health
3
: fineness or subtle expressiveness of touch (as in painting or music)
4
a
: refined sensibility in feeling or conduct
handled the difficult situation with delicacy
b
: the quality or state of being squeamish
Hunger knows no delicacy.
5
: the quality or state of requiring delicate (see delicate entry 1 sense 4b) handling
the delicacy of the tense negotiations
6
a
: precise and refined perception and discrimination
the delicacy of his taste in art
b
: extreme sensitivity : precision
an electronic instrument of great delicacy
7
obsolete
a
: the quality or state of being luxurious

Examples of delicacy in a Sentence

The restaurant serves delicious sausages and other regional delicacies. the delicacy of the glassware The curtains were made from fine lace of great delicacy. a musician known for the delicacy of her compositions the delicacy of the young boy's features the delicacy of the perfume the delicacy of the wine's flavor Because of the delicacy of the situation, we needed to speak privately.
Recent Examples on the Web The octopus—a delicacy among locals—is also notably absent from the affected reefs, and the fish that still swim among the cabbagelike sheets of rice coral are much smaller than their counterparts elsewhere around the atoll. Fanni Szakal, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 June 2024 The obsession over the perfectly prepared Italian-food delicacy starts early, when Samira (Nyong’o) is coaxed to leave the cancer ward by her nurse, Reuben (Alex Wolff), for a trip into the big city. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 27 June 2024 On Friday, the New York Supreme Court ruled against the city’s ban on foie gras, meaning that restaurants throughout N.Y.C. can continue serving the delicacy. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 24 June 2024 Flavors change daily, but look for delicacies like French toast, chocolate pretzel and banana pudding on a regular basis — or have your own flavor created right in front of you. Jonathan Shikes, The Denver Post, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for delicacy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delicacy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

see delicate entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7a

Time Traveler
The first known use of delicacy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near delicacy

Cite this Entry

“Delicacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delicacy. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

delicacy

noun
del·​i·​ca·​cy ˈdel-i-kə-sē How to pronounce delicacy (audio)
plural delicacies
1
: something pleasing to eat because it is rare or a luxury
2
a
: fineness of structure : daintiness
lace of great delicacy
b
: weakness of body : frailty
the delicacy of his health
3
: the ability to express very slight degrees of feeling (as in painting or music)
4
: consideration for the feelings of others
5
: the ability to sense or indicate very slight differences : precision
6
: the tendency to be or state of being squeamish
7
: the quality or state of requiring careful treatment
the delicacy of a situation

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