- fineness of texture, quality, etc.; softness; daintiness: the delicacy of lace.
- something delightful or pleasing, especially a choice food considered with regard to its rarity, costliness, or the like: Caviar is a great delicacy.
- the quality of being easily broken or damaged; fragility.
- the quality of requiring or involving great care or tact: negotiations of great delicacy.
- extreme sensitivity; precision of action or operation; minute accuracy: the delicacy of a skillful surgeon's touch; a watch mechanism of unusual delicacy.
- fineness of perception or feeling; sensitiveness: the delicacy of the pianist's playing.
- fineness of feeling with regard to what is fitting, proper, etc.: Delicacy would not permit her to be rude.
- sensitivity with regard to the feelings of others: She criticized him with such delicacy that he was not offended.
- bodily weakness; liability to sickness; frailty.
- Linguistics. (especially in systemic linguistics) the degree of minuteness pursued at a given stage of analysis in specifying distinctions in linguistic description.
- Obsolete. sensuous indulgence; luxury.
Origin of delicacy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for delicacies
La Teresita also has an adjoining cafeteria where you can head for an informal buffet and heaping piles of Cuban delicacies.Eat Your Way Through Tampa’s Cuban Oasis
July 10, 2014
And, of course, there are local Andalucian delicacies to be had in and around Setenil de las Bodegas.The Spanish Fraggle Rock: Setenil de las Bodegas Is an Andalucian Town Built Under a Rock
January 2, 2014
The monastery began crafting its own delicacies, later known as pasteis de belem.Portugal's Kings of Pastry
April 5, 2011
They are given unlimited access to a host of delicacies—the freshest fruits, the finest juices, the most delectable desserts.When Bush Caved to Egypt
January 30, 2011
The roll of delicacies is long enough, or even too long without them.The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste:
Mrs. W. G. Waters
And the Jews, when they left Egypt, looked back with fondness to these delicacies.Storyology
Neither would you approve of the delicacies, as they are thought, of Athenian confectionary?The Republic
He handed her the basket, and she brought out the delicacies.The Wall Street Girl
Frederick Orin Bartlett
He wrote to Paris and London for all the delicacies of the "comestible" shops.That Boy Of Norcott's
Charles James Lever
- fine or subtle quality, character, construction, etcdelicacy of craftsmanship
- fragile, soft, or graceful beauty
- something that is considered choice to eat, such as caviar
- fragile construction or constitution; frailty
- refinement of feeling, manner, or appreciationthe delicacy of the orchestra's playing
- fussy or squeamish refinement, esp in matters of taste, propriety, etc
- need for tactful or sensitive handling
- accuracy or sensitivity of response or operation, as of an instrument
- (in systemic grammar) the level of detail at which a linguistic description is made; the degree of fine distinction in a linguistic description
- obsolete gratification, luxury, or voluptuousness
Word Origin and History for delicacies
"things dainty and gratifying to the palate," mid-15c., from plural of delicacy.