ex·qui·site | \ ek-ˈskwi-zət , ˈek-(ˌ)skwi- \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The latest installment of the designers’ couture Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda project—whose cast of international clients has swelled significantly—was held at dusk in front of one of the most exquisite vistas Italy has to offer. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana’s Como Chameleons: Naomi Campbell, Halima Aden, and Maye Musk Model Alta Moda in Italy," 6 July 2018 His club teammate would double the Red Devils' lead in the 31st minute with an exquisite shot from outside of the box following a quick counter inclusive of a wonderful run and an incisive pass from Romelu Lukaku. SI.com, "Neymar Dives, Belgium High-Fives & Lukaku Thrives - Twitter Reacts to Incredible World Cup Clash," 6 July 2018 At the end of the list — though still exquisite — are two homes in the San Antonio area. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Take a look at the most expensive homes for sale in Texas," 11 July 2018 Love her despite the certain and exquisite and unavoidable pain that accompanies giving your heart to someone. Anna Pulley, RedEye Chicago, "Ask Anna: How can I help someone who's scared to fall in love?," 9 July 2018 The girl is utterly, effortlessly, otherworldly exquisite. Annabel Davidson, A-LIST, "Purple Reign: Ella Purnell in Vanity Fair On Jewellery," 5 July 2018 Villeneuve's was almost exquisite, thrilling torture. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' lacks ambition of the original," 28 June 2018 The restaurant itself is exquisite, thanks in part to a rotating collection of art from the nearby Modernism Museum. A.d. Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Mount Dora Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 Scenes shot by Rinzler and Wenders in Assisi are exquisite, but Wenders was not content to leave it at that. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pope Francis: A Man of His Word': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018

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.

See More

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


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


see exquisite entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exquisite

Dictionary Entries near exquisite








Statistics for exquisite

Last Updated

3 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exquisite

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 , 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 , ek- \

Medical Definition of exquisite 

: acute sense 2a, intense exquisite pain

Other words from exquisite

exquisitely \-lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on exquisite

What made you want to look up exquisite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!