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

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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


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

In an exquisite Lagerfeld creation, Knightley channeled princess glamour—confident, graceful, and entirely fashion-forward—without any of its regressive trappings. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "In Chanel Couture, Keira Knightley Goes Disney Princess at The Nutcracker’s World Premiere," 2 Nov. 2018 Gallerist Cristina Grajales is forever unearthing exquisite pieces from the treasury of her global design talent. Wendy Goodman, The Cut, "12 Highlights From Design Week in New York," 24 May 2018 The team of Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo have been touted as front-runners ever since Markle wore one of their exquisite creations — which cost nearly $80,000 — in one of her official engagement photos. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding: What we know and what we don't know," 28 Mar. 2018 Based in San Francisco, the company helped bring corsetry back into the mainstream with its exquisite handmade pieces. Cora Harrington, Allure, "A Beginner's Guide to Corsets," 8 Feb. 2018 The interiors are exquisite as well as the food and service. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Latina Cool Girl’s Guide to Mexico City," 4 June 2018 The rigid excellence of Alabama football has found its perfect complement in this expressive Alabama men's basketball team, and with the SEC Tournament approaching, the Crimson Tide's exquisite hair is going to be front and center. Joseph Goodman, AL.com, "Signature hairstyles add element of fun to Alabama basketball," 19 Feb. 2018 The resulting interference patterns would allow scientists to analyse the effects of gravity with exquisite precision, as well as test whether condensates could be used as very sensitive rotation and gravity sensors. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "Universe’s Coolest Lab Set to Open Quantum World," 9 May 2018 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

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


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


see exquisite entry 1

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for exquisite

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

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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, 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

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