Definition of subtlety
1 : the quality or state of being subtle
2 : something subtle
Examples of subtlety in a Sentence
The pianist performed with subtlety and passion.
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
The drive relied on the Cruze self-reporting its mileage, there are likely much better ways to measure how much fuel was consumed, and no one from C/D’s crack tech staff was on hand to add some subtlety and elegance to the exercise.
Never veering to the extremes, color blocking was handled with subtlety — bright red with gray, black with white or dark red and burnt orange.
The outcome of the Miami meeting should be to strengthen this framework rather than narrow it to a simple counternarcotic, counter-terrorism strategy that ignores the subtleties of a region of vital national importance to the United States.
Ignore the appropriations (minor nuisance), wean yourselves off subtlety in efforts to curb her oversharing — and try taking specific interest in her.
His famous frog haiku, translated into dozens of languages, captures the subtlety of the watery region: The old pond; A frog jumps in— The sound of the water.
W. Leo Smith, an ichthyologist at the University of Kansas’s Biodiversity Institute, disagrees based on subtleties of tail coloration.
But as Borger shows us with great subtlety and surety, Lucille Frank eventually realizes that the forces amassed against her husband have nothing to do with any potential guilt.
The two main stories were intercut with the subtlety of someone flipping channels.
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
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
SUBTLETY Defined for English Language Learners
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
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