Definition for DEL'I-CATE

DEL'I-CATE, a. [Fr. delicat; Sp. delicado; It. delicato; L. delicatus, connected with deliciƦ, delight, delecto, to delight; probably a compound of de, with the root of like. See Delight and Like.]

  1. Of a fine texture; fine; soft; smooth; clear, or fair; as, a delicate skin.
  2. Nice; pleasing to the taste; of an agreeable flavor; as, delicate food; a delicate dish.
  3. Nice in perception of what is agreeable; dainty; as, a delicate taste; and figuratively, nice and discriminating in beauty and deformity.
  4. Nice; accurate; fine; soft to the eye; as, a delicate color.
  5. Nice in forms; regulated by minute observance of propriety, or by condescension and attention to the wishes and feelings of others; as, delicate behavior or manners; a delicate address.
  6. Pleasing to the senses; as, a delicate flavor.
  7. Fine; slender; minute: as, a delicate thread.
  8. That can not be handled without injury or danger: that must be touched with care; as, a delicate point or topic; a delicate question.
  9. Composed of fine threads, or nicely interwoven; as, delicate texture: hence, soft and smooth to the touch; as, delicate silk.
  10. Tender; effeminate; not able to endure hardship; very impressible to injury; as, a delicate frame or constitution.
  11. Feeble; not sound or robust; as, delicate health.

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