1. A delicate item of clothing, especially underwear or lingerie.
    Don't put that in with your jeans: it's a delicate!
  2. A choice dainty; a delicacy.
    With abstinence all delicates he sees. — Dryden.
  3. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
    All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, — those I mean that would seem to be more fine in their houses than their neighbours, — are only of the Corinth metal. — Holland.


  1. Easily damaged or requiring careful handling.
    Those clothes are made from delicate lace.
    The negotiations were very delicate.
  2. Characterized by a fine structure or thin lines.
    Her face was delicate.
    The spider wove a delicate web.
    There was a delicate pattern of frost on the window.
  3. Intended for use with fragile items.
    Set the washing machine to the delicate cycle.
  4. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; said of manners, conduct, or feelings.
    delicate behaviour; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness
  5. Of weak health; easily sick; unable to endure hardship.
    a delicate child; delicate health
  6. Unwell, especially because of having drunk too much alcohol.
    Please don't speak so loudly: I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning.
  7. Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
  8. Pleasing to the senses; refined; adapted to please an elegant or cultivated taste.
    a delicate dish; delicate flavour
  9. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful.
  10. Light, or softly tinted; said of a colour.
    a delicate shade of blue
  11. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
  12. Highly discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite.
    a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music
  13. Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes.
    a delicate thermometer

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: delicate
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