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delicacy

[del-i-kuh-see] /ˈdɛl ɪ kə si/
noun, plural delicacies.
1.
fineness of texture, quality, etc.; softness; daintiness:
the delicacy of lace.
2.
something delightful or pleasing, especially a choice food considered with regard to its rarity, costliness, or the like:
Caviar is a great delicacy.
3.
the quality of being easily broken or damaged; fragility.
4.
the quality of requiring or involving great care or tact:
negotiations of great delicacy.
5.
extreme sensitivity; precision of action or operation; minute accuracy:
the delicacy of a skillful surgeon's touch; a watch mechanism of unusual delicacy.
6.
fineness of perception or feeling; sensitiveness:
the delicacy of the pianist's playing.
7.
fineness of feeling with regard to what is fitting, proper, etc.:
Delicacy would not permit her to be rude.
8.
sensitivity with regard to the feelings of others:
She criticized him with such delicacy that he was not offended.
9.
bodily weakness; liability to sickness; frailty.
10.
Linguistics. (especially in systemic linguistics) the degree of minuteness pursued at a given stage of analysis in specifying distinctions in linguistic description.
11.
Obsolete. sensuous indulgence; luxury.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English delicasie. See delicate, -cy
Related forms
hyperdelicacy, noun
Synonyms
5. sensitivity, discrimination; prudence, consideration, circumspection.
Antonyms
1, 6. coarseness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for delicacy
  • Nance trees have delicious yellow fruits that are a delicacy to both wildlife and local people.
  • The delicacy of this food and the precise rhythms of its presentation have the soothing effect of meditation.
  • The krill are used as fish food and bait and, in some countries, as a delicacy for humans.
  • Lobsters are considered a food delicacy around the world.
  • Cruz's makeup is heavier, and the delicacy of her features is lost.
  • If not with grain then with insects processed into a choice delicacy.
  • Make sure your armadillo chili is well-cooked should you decide to try the regional delicacy.
  • From rather unpromising-sounding subject matter she fashions short stories of extraordinary delicacy and resonance.
  • They are considered a delicacy by many people around the world.
  • In more than several countries, dog is considered to be a delicacy.
British Dictionary definitions for delicacy

delicacy

/ˈdɛlɪkəsɪ/
noun (pl) -cies
1.
fine or subtle quality, character, construction, etc delicacy of craftsmanship
2.
fragile, soft, or graceful beauty
3.
something that is considered choice to eat, such as caviar
4.
fragile construction or constitution; frailty
5.
refinement of feeling, manner, or appreciation the delicacy of the orchestra's playing
6.
fussy or squeamish refinement, esp in matters of taste, propriety, etc
7.
need for tactful or sensitive handling
8.
accuracy or sensitivity of response or operation, as of an instrument
9.
(in systemic grammar) the level of detail at which a linguistic description is made; the degree of fine distinction in a linguistic description
10.
(obsolete) gratification, luxury, or voluptuousness
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 delicacy
delicacy
late 14c., "quaity of being addicted to sensuous pleasure," from delicate. Meaning "fineness, softness, tender loveliness" is from 1580s; that of "weakness of constitution" is from 1630s. Meaning "a dainty viand" is from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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16
18
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