ex·​qui·​site | \ ek-ˈskwi-zət How to pronounce exquisite (audio) , ˈek-(ˌ)skwi- How to pronounce exquisite (audio) \

Definition of exquisite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : marked by flawless craftsmanship or by beautiful, ingenious, delicate, or elaborate execution an exquisite vase
b : marked by nice discrimination, deep sensitivity, or subtle understanding exquisite taste
c : accomplished, perfected an exquisite gentleman
2a : pleasing through beauty, fitness, or perfection an exquisite white blossom
b : acute, intense exquisite pain
c : having uncommon or esoteric appeal
3 : carefully selected : choice
4 archaic : accurate



Definition of exquisite (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who is overly fastidious in dress or ornament

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Other Words from exquisite


exquisitely adverb
exquisiteness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exquisite


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 exquisite in a Sentence

Adjective My dream was … to play smoky ballads of exquisite sweetness and sophistication with somebody like Michelle Pfeiffer leaning misty-eyed over my shoulder. Actually, since this was the middle of the fifties, my fantasy ideal was probably closer to Doris Day. — Daniel C. Dennett, Curious Minds, (2004) 2005 Also on view is one of Poussin's first classical landscape paintings; its exquisite geometry provides fresh insight into why Cézanne was one of this great painter's most passionate admirers. — Evelyn Toynton, Arts & Antiques, February 1996 a move executed with exquisite precision Her singing voice is truly exquisite. He chose his words with exquisite care.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bulgari Allegra consists of five Eau de Parfum fragrances and five Magnifying Essences, which are exquisite distillations of single notes. April Long, Town & Country, "Bulgari's New Allegra Perfume Collection Will Spark Joy," 16 Feb. 2021 But where should the museum put an exquisite 1941 garden landscape by Jacques Villon, painted in the Cubist style? Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Museum of Art’s revelatory “Stories from Storage’’ exhibit brings hidden gems into the light," 7 Feb. 2021 Especially when his chocolatier Joshua Werner is at work turning out exquisite bonbons (six pieces for $15, 12 for $30) that range from coffee-cardamom to passion fruit-mango-coconut. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "Here are 10 local ideas for all-chocolate Valentine's Day celebrations," 5 Feb. 2021 Everything that Susanna Yoon and her team make is exquisite, from the shiny, jewel-like bonbons to the Betterfinger bars which, unlike Bart Simpson’s candy bar of choice, don’t get stuck in your teeth. Mackenzie Chung Fegan, Bon Appétit, "The Best Chocolates To Buy Online Right Now," 2 Feb. 2021 Regardless of its engine, the Flying Spur's cabin combines exquisite materials with a design that blends modern and traditional themes. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Bentley Flying Spur V-8 Is Sensibly Extravagant," 27 Jan. 2021 Peter — all too aware that such an act is a bridge too far from respectability, but also that as a man, he will be better protected from scandal — distances himself from Undine, but not before gifting her a string of exquisite pearls. New York Times, "Undine Spragg’s Life in Objects," 26 Jan. 2021 Exploring her patient’s brain, Márta takes exquisite pains to avoid injuring its precious speech center. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time’ Review: Operating Under False Pretenses," 21 Jan. 2021 Just Imagine Drive in Avon—an appropriate address for Nada Talevska’s exquisite art. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Faces and flowers; Fairview artist exhibiting in Avon on Dec. 6," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Potter’s ironies, veering between the blunt and the exquisite, the oblique and the confrontational, expose the cruel hazards of nature and the perversities of culture. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Five Movies About Royals to Compete with “The Crown”," 20 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exquisite.' 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 exquisite


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for exquisite

Adjective and Noun

Middle English exquisit, from Latin exquisitus, past participle of exquirere to search out, from ex- + quaerere to seek

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Time Traveler for exquisite

Time Traveler

The first known use of exquisite was in the 15th century

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Statistics for exquisite

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exquisite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exquisite. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for exquisite



English Language Learners Definition of exquisite

: finely done or made : very beautiful or delicate
: very sensitive or fine
: extreme or intense


ex·​qui·​site | \ ek-ˈskwi-zət How to pronounce exquisite (audio) , ˈek-skwi- \

Kids Definition of exquisite

1 : finely made or done exquisite workmanship
2 : very pleasing (as through beauty) exquisite roses
3 : intense sense 1, extreme exquisite pain


ex·​qui·​site | \ ik-ˈskwiz-ət How to pronounce exquisite (audio) , ek- How to pronounce exquisite (audio) \

Medical Definition of exquisite

: acute sense 2a, intense exquisite pain

Other Words from exquisite

exquisitely \ -​lē How to pronounce exquisite (audio) \ adverb

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