adjective ex·qui·site \ ek-ˈskwi-zət , ˈek-(ˌ)skwi- \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

Definition of exquisite

1 a : 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
2 a : 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





Examples of exquisite in a Sentence

  1. 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. DennettCurious Minds(2004) 2005
  2. 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 ToyntonArts & AntiquesFebruary 1996
  3. a move executed with exquisite precision

  4. Her singing voice is truly exquisite.

  5. He chose his words with exquisite care.

Recent Examples of exquisite from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of exquisite

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

Synonym Discussion of 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




Definition of exquisite

: one who is overly fastidious in dress or ornament

Origin and Etymology of exquisite

EXQUISITE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of exquisite for English Language Learners

  • : finely done or made : very beautiful or delicate

  • : very sensitive or fine

  • : extreme or intense

EXQUISITE Defined for Kids


adjective ex·qui·site \ ek-ˈskwi-zət , ˈek-skwi- \

Definition of exquisite for Students

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

Medical Dictionary


adjective ex·qui·site \ ik-ˈskwiz-ət , ek- \

medical Definition of exquisite

: acute 2a, intense
  • exquisite pain


play \-lē\ adverb

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to grant as a privilege or special favor

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