Adjective "delicate" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality.
  1. 'Many of his breads are given 24 to 48 hours to rise on their own, developing precious flavors and delicate textures.'
  2. 'Fine, delicate black lines delineate androgynous figures, heads turned heavenward, mouths open.'
  3. 'I think the general pattern is some kind of injury, whether that's a viral infection, a toxin, some kind of insult to very delicate structures in the brain.'
  4. 'In lingerie, this is expressed by delicate shapes in diaphanous fabrics which flutter around the body.'
  5. 'Your ears are connected to your nose and then to the sinuses by narrow passageways - delicate, intricate structures with a remarkable ability to recover after an infection such as a cold.'
  6. 'Where the inner part is smaller, the meshwork structure is more delicate and is not interwoven tightly enough to convey the spiral nature of its structure.'
  7. 'When at the click of a button you have the world on your screen, why bother debating the intricate and delicate fabrics our lives?'
  8. 'Forget all that nonsense about looking like an orange and think of your skin as the finest, most delicate fabric that you've got to wear for the rest of your life.'
  9. 'The delicate intricacy of the leaves provided inspiration for motifs in decoration, appearing on tiles and wrought iron, china, glass and linen.'
  10. 'The timbre and quality of its resonance had a lingering delicate quality, which communicated nuances of infinite variety.'
  11. 'delicate pastel shades'
  12. 'His interiors combine domes, columned screens, and apses with classically derived surface patterns in delicate colours.'
  13. 'The brow pencil in Soft Brown is a delicate colour and blended well when it was brushed.'
  14. 'A faint aroma of the hot earth cooled by the first rains wafted in and filled the room with its delicate fragrance.'
  15. 'If you look at apparel, women are wearing more delicate colors, and pastels go along with the retro movements.'
  16. 'And at winter dusk, sky and snow are bathed in delicate colours which linger for hours.'
  17. 'The tea from Darjeeling with its characteristic delicate colour and aroma is called the ‘champagne of teas’.'
  18. 'This has a pale hay colour, with a delicate, attractive nose that smells of damp elderflower and freshly peeled apple.'
  19. 'Debussy made as much use of silence as of sound to express emotion, and in the orchestration each instrument was given a delicate colour of its own to blend into the painting.'
  20. 'Light yellow varieties, many shades of pink and delicate pastels need full sun to bring out the colorings.'
  21. 'The blouse was a light, delicate shade of pink, with a dark flower pattern covering it.'
  22. 'This luminescent Italian rose has a sweetness on the nose and delicate spice on the palate that begs for a mouthful of chilled raspberries and a touch of vanilla ice-cream.'
  23. 'We spent New Year's Eve with some friends who gave us at dinner (among much else) a gorgeous, delicate soup made from Jerusalem artichokes and cream.'
  24. 'The shelves creak with bottles of exotic oils, potions and elixirs, and the minibar is crammed with delicate liqueurs and Belgian chocolates.'
  25. 'This makes the delicate Biscuit Rose de Reims the ideal dipping companion of a cup of Champagne, and the perfect biscuit to use in a charlotte, in place of the classic ladyfingers.'
  26. 'The plump crustaceans were cooked only until tender, then served up in a delicate tomato, wine and feta cheese sauce.'
  27. 'Sauvignon blanc came from Sancerre, in France, was light and dry and tasted minerally and crisp with delicate fruit.'
  28. 'A succulent dish, it was served with a delicate sauce comprising olive oil, garlic and citrus juice.'
  29. 'Greens, carrots, and delicate herbs grow here, protected from deluges.'
  30. 'The delicate sauce enhances, without overwhelming, the sweet freshness that makes lobster so appealing.'
  31. 'Villagers wear rice straw sandals, and the whole nation unwinds daily on a delicate rice wine, sake.'
Easily broken or damaged; fragile.
  1. 'Never mind sir, the hit didn't damage any of your delicate equipment.'
  2. 'The lungs are also delicate and easily damaged if the ventilation is too aggressive.'
  3. 'Berries, for example, are very delicate and fragile.'
  4. 'Corals and other reef organisms are extremely delicate and thus easily damaged.'
  5. 'If performed incorrectly, the stress of teasing or backcombing hair can damage delicate strands.'
  6. 'Most of the works were done on silk or rice paper, both very fragile and delicate materials.'
  7. 'The best ceramic artworks are delicate, but not fragile, and utilitarian, but not dull.'
  8. 'Then he carefully pulls the book from the shelf, cradling its delicate pages, its fragile spine in his palms with the same tenderness lavished on a newborn baby.'
  9. 'Whatever you do avoid touching the gills as they are very delicate organs that are easily damaged.'
  10. 'They must ‘handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art.’'
  11. 'his delicate health'
  12. 'But Martineau was in her sixties and in delicate health.'
  13. 'The emerging plants are delicate, so continuous moisture is essential.'
  14. 'My Mama is expecting a baby very shortly and she is in delicate health.'
  15. 'His total commitment to academic work together with rather delicate health meant that he was little involved with the social life of the school.'
  16. 'Mary and her girls were aware of her distraction, and seemed to think it might be the result of delicate health, for they took to often encouraging her outdoors to get fresh air.'
  17. 'And I never did interview her because I was aware of her delicate health and I wanted to do it properly - to spend an afternoon with her.'
  18. 'This adventure proved too much for my delicate health, and I soon developed a severe cold.'
  19. 'Most slugs eat decaying vegetation, but readily switch to young or delicate plants, feeding on the leaves, stems, roots and tubers.'
  20. 'The Arctic's delicate tundra plants support Large populations of animals such as caribou and provide nesting habitat for huge numbers of birds.'
  21. 'Wildlife lovers in Cheshire have drawn up plans to protect the county's animals and delicate plants from future environmental threats.'
  22. 'It is obvious that the market is still in delicate health, but it is important to distinguish between old scars and new wounds.'
  23. 'owls have a delicate balance with their habitat'
  24. 'And the coast is our most fragile and delicate environment.'
  25. 'Some have argued that the timing of the Presbyterians' decision will undermine the delicate peace process now underway.'
  26. 'This new law upsets the delicate balance which the courts had tried to achieve during the 1990s.'
  27. 'By the 14th century, there were a number of forces which upset this delicate balance.'
  28. 'They also say it will damage rare and delicate upland habitats; hinder the local economy by deterring tourists; and dramatically devaluing nearby properties.'
  29. 'I kept it from you because I didn't want to upset you in your delicate condition.'
  30. 'This is a delicate equilibrium balance that can easily be ruined.'
  31. 'Upon seeing such, I recoiled, remembering her delicate state of mind when it came to men.'
  32. 'Our ancestors understood this delicate balance and went to great lengths not to upset it.'
  33. 'But these states are so delicate they are liable to be destroyed by background noise.'
Requiring sensitive or careful handling.
  1. 'This group does deal with very delicate political and diplomatic issues.'
  2. 'She never really knew how to handle delicate situations requiring tact and sincere honesty.'
  3. 'Succession planning is too delicate a business for such an approach.'
  4. 'As to who really controls these hostages, this is all now part of another very delicate situation, political and diplomatic reality.'
  5. 'I am glad to see you have enough interest in the fascinatingly challenging and yet delicate game of Diplomacy to spend some time to read about it.'
  6. 'This movie takes a very mature and sophisticated approach to a delicate subject, offering no explanation as to why bad things can happen to good people.'
  7. 'That would be the right basis for the success of this new delicate political panoply.'
  8. 'It's often hard to find the ‘right time’ to approach someone about a delicate issue, as well as being difficult to say the words you need to say.'
  9. 'If this inflames delicate office politics, so much the better.'
  10. 'You don't seem to understand how delicate your situation is.'
  11. 'a delicate approach is needed'
  12. 'Each requires a certain amount of respectful, delicate, thoughtful mountain climbing.'
  13. 'It is a very delicate process of being politically active, because taking seriously the people you are involved with is a key concern, without romanticising them.'
  14. 'Hollywood is a place where nuanced language and delicate diplomacy is needed in offering up a critique of your betters.'
  15. 'There has been a really delicate approach to this matter.'
  16. 'Out of a crass-sounding approach has come a delicate and innovative solution.'
  17. 'The ladies are developing their newly acquired skills in the delicate art of egg decoration.'
  18. 'He possesses that deft and delicate touch that can transform interesting prose into mesmerising poetry.'
  19. 'His movements were very quick, yet delicate, showing his skill and familiarity with the knife and the task.'
  20. 'He preferred to finish the marble himself, and his delicate skill is apparent in two marble figures.'
  21. 'I am learning the delicate skill of the contestant interview.'
  22. 'Two antennas will allow the spacecraft to communicate with Earth in any configuration, always having the side hosting delicate instruments away from the Sun.'
  23. 'Oetzi's corpse was removed from the ice, not by archaeologists, with delicate tools, but by the local mountain rescue team, with a steam hammer.'
  24. 'It measures 2.7 metres across and is built like a shellfish: its hard shell designed to protect its delicate instruments from the heat of entry into the atmosphere.'
  25. 'The delicate tools used for extrusion of aluminium or plastic profiles are therefore often polished manually.'
  26. 'The mind on which we rely is itself an extremely delicate instrument.'
  27. 'At the far left sat three of the last five probes, boxed and stored carefully to protect their delicate instruments.'
  28. 'Maintenance instruments are so delicate they have to remain in the shop's controlled environment.'
  29. 'There are many small and delicate Instruments that can get caught in the bottom of the sterilization pan.'
  30. 'To describe this as a delicate instrument might be inaccurate, if the term were used in relation to other electrical instruments of extreme sensibility.'
  31. 'His eyes lit up as the gears shifted, and beneath the glass appeared a long, delicate needle.'


A delicate fabric or garment.
  1. 'Just make sure that my delicates are washed by hand.'
  2. 'Once you have made your choice of delicates, you throw the rest of your clothes on and go about your day.'
  3. 'It wasn't too long until I discovered her delicates (bras, panties, aerobic outfits, and make-up).'
  4. 'I bet she'll be willing to part with her delicates - for the right price, that is - if she can have another pair made just like them.'



1. fine in texture, quality, construction, etc.: a delicate lace collar.

2. fragile; easily damaged; frail: delicate porcelain; a delicate child.

3. so fine as to be scarcely perceptible; subtle: a delicate flavor.

4. soft or faint, as color: a delicate shade of pink.

5. fine or precise in action or execution; capable of responding to the slightest influence: a delicate instrument.

6. requiring great care, caution, or tact: a delicate international situation.

More examples(as adjective)

"situations can be delicate at moments."

"issues can be delicate for parties."

"weapons can be delicate to uses."

"spheres can be delicate for adventurers."

"situations can be delicate in spites."

More examples++


(delicate)Late Middle English (in the sense ‘delightful, charming’): from French délicat or Latin delicatus, of unknown origin. Senses also expressed in Middle English (now obsolete) include ‘voluptuous’, ‘self-indulgent’, ‘fastidious’, and ‘effeminate’.


in a delicate condition