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[deyn-tee] /ˈdeɪn ti/
adjective, daintier, daintiest.
of delicate beauty; exquisite:
a dainty lace handkerchief.
pleasing to the taste and, often, temptingly served or delicate; delicious:
dainty pastries.
of delicate discrimination or taste; particular; fastidious:
a dainty eater.
overly particular; finicky.
noun, plural dainties.
something delicious to the taste; a delicacy.
Origin of dainty
1175-1225; Middle English deinte worthiness, happiness, delicacy < Anglo-French (Old French deint(i)e) < Latin dignitāt- (stem of dignitās); see dignity
Related forms
daintily, adverb
daintiness, noun
overdaintily, adverb
overdaintiness, noun
overdainty, adjective
superdainty, adjective
undaintily, adverb
undaintiness, noun
undainty, adjective
1. fine. See delicate. 2. tender, delectable. 3. See particular. 4. overnice. 5. tidbit, sweetmeat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for daintily
  • daintily, casually, she had lifted her habit and kicked the toy dinosaur into the air.
  • He watched his friend daintily grab a dumpling with her chopsticks and put it in her mouth.
  • She tugged at her skirt and began climbing down, almost daintily now.
  • The electronic robot daintily picked up the targets, and then placed them in boxes which could be moved to the detector equipment.
  • The bride was daintily gowned in white chiffon over white silk.
  • Following them were a group of daintily dressed school children, singing the national airs and bearing flags.
  • Supper was served later at a daintily arranged table.
  • The house was daintily and attractively decorated with flowers, plants vines and softly shaded lights.
British Dictionary definitions for daintily


adjective -tier, -tiest
delicate or elegant: a dainty teacup
pleasing to the taste; choice; delicious: a dainty morsel
refined, esp excessively genteel; fastidious
noun (pl) -ties
a choice piece of food, esp a small cake or sweet; delicacy
Derived Forms
daintily, adverb
daintiness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French deintié, from Latin dignitāsdignity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for daintily

c.1300, "sumptuously;" late 14c., "elegantly," from dainty (adj.) + -ly (2).



c.1300, "excellence, elegance; a luxury," from Old French deintie (12c.) "price, value," also "delicacy, pleasure," from Latin dignitatem (nominative dignitas) "greatness, rank, worthiness, worth, beauty," from dignus "worthy" (see dignity).


c.1300, "delightful, pleasing," from dainty (n.). Meaning evolved in Middle English to "choice, excellent" (late 14c.) to "delicately pretty." Related: Daintiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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