Del"i*cate (?), a. [L. delicatus
pleasing the senses, voluptuous, soft and tender; akin to
deliciae delight: cf. F. délicat. See
Delight.] 1. Addicted to pleasure;
luxurious; voluptuous; alluring. [R.]
Dives, for his delicate life, to the devil
went. Piers Plowman.
Haarlem is a very delicate town.
2. Pleasing to the senses; refinedly
agreeable; hence, adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice;
fine; elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate
3. Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as,
"a delicate creature." Shak.
4. Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; --
said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton.
5. Slight or smooth; light and yielding; --
said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk.
6. Soft and fair; -- said of the skin or a
surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate
7. Light, or softly tinted; -- said of a
color; as, a delicate blue.
8. Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to
trespass or offend; considerate; -- said of manners, conduct, or
feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions;
9. Tender; not able to endure hardship;
feeble; frail; effeminate; -- said of constitution, health, etc.; as,
a delicate child; delicate health.
A delicate and tender prince.
10. Requiring careful handling; not to be
rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate
subject or question.
There are some things too delicate and too
sacred to be handled rudely without injury to truth.
F. W. Robertson.
11. Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty;
12. Nicely discriminating or perceptive;
refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate
taste; a delicate ear for music.
13. Affected by slight causes; showing slight
changes; as, a delicate thermometer.
Del"i*cate, n. 1.
A choice dainty; a delicacy. [R.]
With abstinence all delicates he
2. A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate
All the vessels, then, which our delicates
have, -- those I mean that would seem to be more fine in their houses
than their neighbors, -- are only of the Corinth metal.