9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 dainty
  • Time to ditch those dainty-teacup stereotypes.
  • For centuries, she says, children wore dainty white dresses up to age 6.
  • She was also wearing a wispy gown, a dainty pearl necklace and petite Victorian-style earrings.
  • They intend no disrespect, but there's no way to be dainty about this task.
  • Though we're told in passing that she grew up in a house in the suburbs, she's hardly a dainty soul.
  • Gilbert is known among friends for looking like a dainty, quiet Ivory soap model but rarely acting like one.
  • The perennial pepperweed is an attractive plant with dainty white flowers.
  • Sweeter than those dainty pies.
  • No one expects dining here to be dainty, and it isn't.
  • Titan can make some rivals seem almost dainty, others overdone.
British Dictionary definitions for dainty


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 dainty

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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