delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility.
dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate.
Examples of delicate in a Sentence
He has a delicate stomach and often gets sick when traveling.
The fabric has a delicate floral print.
We hung delicate lace curtains in the windows.
The tomb was adorned with delicate carvings.
the delicate flavor of the wine
Recent Examples on the Web
Where her paintings are certain and suffocating, her works on paper here, installed in corners or at far ends of her panoramas, are delicate and mysterious, softly and enrapturingly beautiful.—Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Sep. 2023 The delicate transparent pants are ideal for the warmer day time, and a velvety zip-up hoodie and black parka are for those who run cold at night.—The Editors, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 The princess found a touching way to keep her children close to her heart: a delicate gold necklace engraved with the initials of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.—Stephanie Bridger-Linning, Glamour, 12 Sep. 2023 Vines of flowers twine over shoulders and across bodices with a naturalistic grace; pale peach ostrich feathers are manipulated into delicate wisps cinched with small grosgrain bows.—Rachel Tashjian, Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2023 Unlike other compact models that have more features, this dryer offers modest controls with only air dry, normal, and timed drying options; this isn’t the dryer for especially delicate fabrics or uncommon materials.—Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 Filled with what would become hallmarks of both Ghibli and Miyazaki's output—heroic young women, the joy of flight, and the delicate state of the natural world—Nausicaä set the standard for everything that followed.—Matt Kamen, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 That influence shows the delicate balance government must navigate when companies innovate faster than their competitors - or the government itself.—Christian Davenport and Joseph Menn, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Sep. 2023 While statistics is an essential tool for understanding the world, employing it responsibly and avoiding its pitfalls requires a delicate dance.—Jack Murtagh, Scientific American, 7 Sep. 2023
Standard dryers also include pre-set options depending on the fabric or items being dried—towels, delicates, and permanent press may sound familiar.—Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 Dry your delicates in the washing machine and let the 7.8-cu.-ft.-capacity dryer handle the large loads and bulky items.—Brittany Loggins, Good Housekeeping, 16 Aug. 2023 He’s played the song many times over the years with Crazy Horse, the International Harvesters, and Promise of the Real, but it’s never sounded this delicate.—Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 8 Aug. 2023 Some good news for all the over-packers out there: this expandable bag is notably spacious, with a simple but roomy interior that includes two interior sections, a cross ribbon divider, and a small zip-up pocket that could easily fit delicates.—Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 13 June 2023 The fragrance-free stain remover can be used on most fabrics including wool, workout clothes, and delicates.—Brandi Fuller, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 June 2023 The spacious sink gets plenty of use for handwashing delicates, filling water bottles, and soaking swimsuits.—Sarah Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 May 2023 The combination of vegetable enzymes and natural minerals work together to effectively lift dirt and grime yet are gentle enough to use on all cloth types, even delicates.—Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2023 These include normal, quick, heavy-duty, bulky, rinse and spin, delicates, and permanent press cycles.—Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 June 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delicate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Adjective and Noun
Middle English delicat, from Latin delicatus given to self-indulgence, fastidious, subtly pleasing, not robust; akin to Latin delicere to allure