fine in texture, quality, construction, etc.: a delicate lace collar.
fragile; easily damaged; frail: delicate porcelain; a delicate child.
so fine as to be scarcely perceptible; subtle: a delicate flavor.
soft or faint, as color: a delicate shade of pink.
fine or precise in action or execution; capable of responding to the slightest influence: a delicate instrument.
requiring great care, caution, or tact: a delicate international situation.
distinguishing subtle differences: a delicate eye; a delicate sense of smell.
exquisite or refined in perception or feeling; sensitive.
regardful of what is becoming, proper, etc.: a delicate sense of propriety.
mindful of or sensitive to the feelings of others: a delicate refusal.
dainty or choice, as food: delicate tidbits.
primly fastidious; squeamish: not a movie for the delicate viewer.
Obsolete. sensuous; voluptuous.
Archaic. a choice food; delicacy.
Obsolete. a source of pleasure; luxury.

1325–75; Middle English delicat < Latin dēlicātus delightful, dainty; akin to delicious

delicately, adverb
delicateness, noun
hyperdelicate, adjective
hyperdelicately, adverb
hyperdelicateness, noun
nondelicate, adjective
nondelicately, adverb
nondelicateness, noun
quasi-delicate, adjective
quasi-delicately, adverb
superdelicate, adjective
superdelicately, adverb
superdelicateness, noun

1. Delicate, dainty, exquisite imply beauty such as belongs to rich surroundings or which needs careful treatment. Delicate used of an object, suggests fragility, small size, and often very fine workmanship: a delicate piece of carving. Dainty in concrete references, suggests a smallness, gracefulness, and beauty that forbid rough handling: a dainty handkerchief; of persons, it refers to fastidious sensibilities: dainty in eating habits. Exquisite suggests an outstanding beauty and elegance, or a discriminating sensitivity and ability to perceive fine distinctions: an exquisite sense of humor. 2. tender, slight, weak. 5. exact, accurate. 6. critical, precarious. 7. discriminating, careful.

1, 2. coarse. 3. hard, crude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
delicate (ˈdɛlɪkɪt)
1.  exquisite, fine, or subtle in quality, character, construction, etc
2.  having a soft or fragile beauty
3.  (of colour, tone, taste, etc) pleasantly subtle, soft, or faint
4.  easily damaged or injured; lacking robustness, esp in health; fragile
5.  precise, skilled, or sensitive in action or operation: a delicate mechanism
6.  requiring tact and diplomacy
7.  sensitive in feeling or manner; showing regard for the feelings of others
8.  excessively refined; squeamish
9.  archaic a delicacy; dainty
[C14: from Latin dēlicātus affording pleasure, from dēliciae (pl) delight, pleasure; see delicious]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. delicatus "alluring, delightful, dainty," also "addicted to pleasure," of unknown origin; related by folk etymology (and perhaps genuinely) to deliciæ "a pet," and delicere "to allure, entice." Meaning "feeble in constitution" is c.1400; that of "easily broken" is recorded from
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It takes millions of years of co-evolution to develop a fine tuned system,
  richly complex and delicately balanced.
Low entropy corresponds to something delicately tuned, so that's why it's easy
  for entropy to go up.
The device consisted of a weight delicately suspended in a large bronze urn,
  ringed by dragons with hinged jaws.
But people also soon noticed their delicately sculpted and decorated shells.
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