- of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, coloring, music, or poetry.
- extraordinarily fine or admirable; consummate: exquisite weather.
- intense; acute, or keen, as pleasure or pain.
- of rare excellence of production or execution, as works of art or workmanship: the exquisite statues of the Renaissance.
- keenly or delicately sensitive or responsive: an exquisite ear for music; an exquisite sensibility.
- of particular refinement or elegance, as taste, manners, etc., or persons.
- carefully sought out, chosen, ascertained, devised, etc.
- Archaic. a person, especially a man, who is excessively concerned about clothes, grooming, etc.; dandy; coxcomb.
Origin of exquisite
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for exquisite
Welcome to the exquisite hell of being director of the Central Intelligence Agency today.John Brennan’s Tortured Defense of the CIA’s Torture Program
December 11, 2014
Like many successful tailors, his attention to detail is exquisite.The Hot Designer Who Hates Fashion: VK Nagrani Triumphs His Own Way
December 1, 2014
According to Wynd, “Freddie Mercury once said he wanted to lead a Victorian life surrounded by exquisite clutter.”Dodo Bones and Kylie’s Poo: Inside London’s Strangest New Museum
November 11, 2014
With its exquisite landscapes, birds-eye view and soothing cinematic music, Drone Boning makes sex look like art.Anatomy of a Drone Porn: ‘Drone Boning’ Makes Sex Look Like Art
November 8, 2014
With exquisite timing, religious historian Karen Armstrong steps forth with Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence.Karen Armstrong’s New Rule: Religion Isn’t Responsible for Violence
October 29, 2014
Most exquisite of sonatas would not to them make up for a game of billiards!Weighed and Wanting
His miracles seem to me to be as exquisite as the coming of spring, and quite as natural.De Profundis
The exquisite vision that came from the Invisible had returned to the Invisible.The Dream
All the world was coming to the exquisite bloom of a half-tropical country.Her Father's Daughter
Could he tell her, after all that, what a precious bore her exquisite Mabel was to him?Quaint Courtships
- possessing qualities of unusual delicacy and fine craftsmanshipjewels in an exquisite setting
- extremely beautiful and pleasingan exquisite face
- outstanding or excellentan exquisite victory
- sensitive; discriminatingexquisite taste
- fastidious and refined
- intense or sharp in feelingexquisite pleasure; exquisite pain
- obsolete a dandy
Word Origin and History for exquisite
early 15c., "carefully selected," from Latin exquisitus "carefully sought out," thus, "choice," from past participle of exquirere "search out thoroughly," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + quaerere "to seek" (see query (v.)).
Of any thing (good or bad, torture as well as art) brought to a highly wrought condition, sometimes shading into disapproval. A vogue word 15c.-18c., given wide extensions of meaning, none of which survives. The main modern sense of "of consummate and delightful excellence" is first attested 1579, in Lyly's "Euphues." Related: Exquisitely; exquisiteness. The noun meaning "a dandy, fop" is from 1819.
- Extremely intense, keen, or sharp. Used of pain or tenderness.