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 The exquisite Phantom Oribe features a stunning combination of dark green and cream paintwork, said to have been inspired by the glazes of ancient Japanese Oribe ceramics that Maezawa also collects. Howard Walker, Robb Report, "Rolls-Royce and Hermès Ride Together on the One-of-a-Kind Phantom Oribe," 30 Apr. 2021 There’s an exquisite flashback to such a concert, held on a riverbank at 5 A.M., that suffuses the screen with the event’s momentous spirituality. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“The Disciple”: An Indian Classical Musician’s Conflicted Coming of Age," 30 Apr. 2021 But the implied grandiosity of those themes is dissipated, again and again, by the exquisite lightness of his touch and the startling tenderness of his gaze. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘About Endlessness’ is another tragicomic marvel from Roy Andersson," 30 Apr. 2021 A half a century later, Gouthière would be commissioned by the Duc d’Aumont—his most avid patron—to provide bronze mounts with exquisite Arcadian motifs by which these vases were transformed into candelabra. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, "Masterpieces Unmediated," 27 Apr. 2021 Greenlandic actors including a world-weary local detective (Angunnguaq Larsen) give the proceedings an exquisite authenticity. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "3 Swedish Shows to Binge When You're Done Watching French TV," 27 Apr. 2021 Slater dominated Young, silencing the All-American with his exquisite combination of size, strength, and speed. BostonGlobe.com, "NFL Draft: Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater has made a powerful impression," 26 Apr. 2021 Bennett, 47, demonstrated exquisite control and great knowledge of her vocal characters and when to summon them. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "It was an over-the-top debut for the new big top at Crooners in Fridley," 24 Apr. 2021 Pitts has exquisite size at 6 foot 6, 240 pounds and the catch radius teams crave for in a tight end along with sure hands and the ability to adjust his body to make contested catches like a wide receiver. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: A look at the 2021 NFL draft’s top-25 talents | Analysis," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The mac, resplendent in white cheese, was like putting a Mercedes in my mouth – that exquisite and that aerodynamic of an eat. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The Alabama meat-and-three lunch goes postmodern," 30 Mar. 2021 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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exquisite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exquisite. Accessed 13 May. 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

Comments on exquisite

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