exquisite

1 of 2

adjective

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
exquisitely adverb
exquisiteness noun

exquisite

2 of 2

noun

: one who is overly fastidious in dress or ornament
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Its exquisite American-art collection, not mammoth but each work a jewel, is always ... Brian T. Allen, National Review, 13 June 2024 This is the first time the museum has invited artists to respond to its collection of exquisite antique quilts, and both the museum’s collection quilts and the artists’ responses are featured. Claudia Levens, Journal Sentinel, 11 June 2024
Noun
The outfits range from the exquisite to the amusing to the absurd, tracing San Francisco fashion from after the 1906 earthquake to the new century. Randy McMullen, The Mercury News, 24 Jan. 2024 Balcer would put her stamp on the game in another way 25 minutes later, delivering an exquisite through ball that launched Lavelle on a dash up the middle of the Gotham defense toward the tying goal. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2023 See all Example Sentences for exquisite 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exquisite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

1819, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near exquisite

Cite this Entry

“Exquisite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exquisite. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

exquisite

adjective
ex·​quis·​ite
ek-ˈskwiz-ət,
ˈek(ˌ)skwiz-
1
: finely done or made
an exquisite lacy handkerchief
an exquisite painting
2
: showing fine discrimination, deep sensitivity, or clear understanding
exquisite taste
3
: pleasing through beauty, fitness, or perfection
exquisite flowers
4
: very severe : intense
exquisite pain
exquisitely adverb
exquisiteness noun

Medical Definition

exquisite

adjective
ex·​qui·​site ik-ˈskwiz-ət How to pronounce exquisite (audio) ek- How to pronounce exquisite (audio)
: acute sense 2a, intense
exquisite pain
exquisitely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on exquisite

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