Definition for DEL'I-CA-CY

DEL'I-CA-CY, n. [Fr. delicatesse; Sp. delicadeza; It. delicatezza; but more directly from Delicate, which see. In a general sense, that which delights or pleases. Hence,]

  1. Fineness of texture; smoothness; softness; tenderness; as, the delicacy of the skin; and nearly in the same sense, applicable to food; as, the delicacy of flesh, meat or vegetables. Hence,
  2. Daintiness; pleasantness to the taste.
  3. Elegant or feminine beauty; as, delicacy of form.
  4. Nicety; minute accuracy; as, the delicacy of coloring in painting.
  5. Neatness in dress; elegance, proceeding from a nice selection and adjustment of the several parts of dress. – Spectator.
  6. Softness of manners; civility or politeness proceeding from a nice observance of propriety, and a desire to please; as, delicacy of behavior.
  7. Indulgence; gentle treatment; as, delicacy of education.
  8. Tenderness; scrupulousness; the quality manifested in nice attention to right, and care to avoid wrong, or offense. – Bp. Taylor.
  9. Acute or nice perception of what is pleasing to the sense of tasting: hence, figuratively, a nice perception of beauty and deformity, or the faculty of such nice perception. Delicacy of the taste tends to invigorate the social affections, and moderate those that are selfish. – Kames.
  10. That which delights the senses, particularly the taste; applied to eatables; as, the peach is a great delicacy.
  11. Tenderness of constitution; weakness; that quality or state of the animal body which renders it very impressible to injury; as, delicacy of constitution or frame.
  12. Smallness; fineness; slenderness; tenuity; as, the delicacy of a thread, or fiber.
  13. Tenderness; nice susceptibility of impression; as, delicacy of feeling.

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