Del·i·ca·cy n.; pl. Delicacies
1. The state or condition of being delicate; agreeableness to the senses; delightfulness; as, delicacy of flavor, of odor, and the like.
What choice to choose for delicacy best. --Milton.
2. Nicety or fineness of form, texture, or constitution; softness; elegance; smoothness; tenderness; and hence, frailty or weakness; as, the delicacy of a fiber or a thread; delicacy of a hand or of the human form; delicacy of the skin; delicacy of frame.
3. Nice propriety of manners or conduct; susceptibility or tenderness of feeling; refinement; fastidiousness; and hence, in an exaggerated sense, effeminacy; as, great delicacy of behavior; delicacy in doing a kindness; delicacy of character that unfits for earnest action.
You know your mother's delicacy in this point. --Cowper.
4. Addiction to pleasure; luxury; daintiness; indulgence; luxurious or voluptuous treatment.
And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent
For gentle usage and soft delicacy? --Milton.
5. Nice and refined perception and discrimination; critical niceness; fastidious accuracy.
That Augustan delicacy of taste which is the boast of the great public schools of England. --Macaulay.
6. The state of being affected by slight causes; sensitiveness; as, the delicacy of a chemist's balance.
7. That which is alluring, delicate, or refined; a luxury or pleasure; something pleasant to the senses, especially to the sense of taste; a dainty; as, delicacies of the table.
The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. --Rev. xviii. 3.
8. Pleasure; gratification; delight. [Obs.]
He Rome brent for his delicacie. --Chaucer.
Syn: -- See Dainty.
n 1: the quality of being beautiful and delicate in appearance;
"the daintiness of her touch"; "the fineness of her
features" [syn: daintiness, fineness]
2: something considered choice to eat [syn: dainty, goody,
3: refined taste; tact [syn: discretion]
4: smallness of stature [syn: slightness]
5: lack of physical strength [syn: fragility]
6: subtly skillful handling of a situation [syn: diplomacy, discreetness,
7: lightness in movement or manner [syn: airiness]