subtlety

play
noun sub·tle·ty \ˈsə-təl-tē\

Definition of subtlety

plural

subtleties

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being subtle

  2. 2 :  something subtle

Examples of subtlety in a Sentence

  1. The pianist performed with subtlety and passion.

  2. we appreciated the subtlety with which our host indicated that it was time to leave: he volunteered to pack us a little lunch for the road

Recent Examples of subtlety from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subtlety'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of subtlety

Middle English sotilte, subtilte, from Anglo-French sotilté, from Latin subtilitat-, subtilitas, from subtilis


SUBTLETY Defined for English Language Learners

subtlety

play
noun

Definition of subtlety for English Language Learners

  • : the quality or state of being subtle

  • : a small detail that is usually important but not obvious



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

lacking social experience or grace

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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