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Definition of 'delicate'


  1. exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to injury; "a delicate violin passage"; "delicate china"; "a delicate flavor"; "the delicate wing of a butterfly"
       Antonyms: rugged
  2. marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique; "a surgeon's delicate touch"
  3. easily broken or damaged or destroyed; "a kite too delicate to fly safely"; "fragile porcelain plates"; "fragile old bones"; "a frail craft"
       Synonyms: fragile frail
  4. easily hurt; "soft hands"; "a baby's delicate skin"
       Synonyms: soft
  5. developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety; "the satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense"
       Synonyms: finespun
  6. difficult to handle; requiring great tact; "delicate negotiations with the big powers";"hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter"; "a touchy subject"
       Synonyms: ticklish touchy
  7. of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely; "almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments"

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