Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dainty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such trifles were too dainty for the soldier's life—but he wore them next his heart.

    The Conquest Eva Emery Dye
  • She carried her head with the dainty alertness of a beautiful bird.

  • Again, Rembrandt painted himself as a giant at the feet of a dainty woman, and in every way his work showed his love for her.

  • It was so much more beautiful to be dainty and small and piquant.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • Spiced wines and cordials, fruit dried and sugared, dainty cakes and various confections.

    A Little Girl in Old St. Louis Amanda Minnie Douglas
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dainty

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dainty

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dainty