- the state or quality of being subtle.
- delicacy or nicety of character or meaning.
- acuteness or penetration of mind; delicacy of discrimination.
- a fine-drawn distinction; refinement of reasoning: the subtleties of logic.
- something subtle.
- History/Historical. an elaborate confection, ornate in construction and ornamentation, sometimes edible but more often made and used as a decoration for a table or buffet.
Origin of subtlety
Examples from the Web for subtlety
Political or not, shown in New York or Budapest, it is a worthy achievement composed with taste and subtlety.In Hands of Hungarian Artist, Jewish Home Movies of the ’30s a Warning of Coming Holocaust
October 25, 2014
But Nicki doesn't just tell us she has a big, fat, ass—that would lack craft and subtlety.Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ Is Too Much Booty for One Man to Handle
August 20, 2014
Without context, subtlety, and commentary, a parody begins to look eerily like the scenario it is attempting to skewer.Juvenile Misogynist Seth MacFarlane Is Not Funny
June 3, 2014
He has none of the subtlety and nuance of black conservative academics such as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.The Conservatives' Great Black Hope
May 19, 2014
This is all done with the subtlety of someone wielding a jackhammer.Rage Against the Machine Dinosaur: What’s a Transformer Dinobot?
March 5, 2014
However, if the man worked with subtlety, the sea likewise worked with subtlety.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
They bestowed upon him every beauty of person and every subtlety of wit.Imogen
If the emperor say, 'You are speaking of Macedonius; I see your subtlety.The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI</p>
Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
Karl had not the subtlety to retort, “Ay, but does it say what we like?”The First Violin
And this notion of his was not any proof of want of subtlety on his part.A Spirit in Prison
- the state or quality of being subtle; delicacy
- a fine distinction or the ability to make such a distinction
- something subtle
Word Origin and History for subtlety
mid-14c., from Old French soutilte, from Latin subtilitatem (nominative subtilitas), noun of quality from subtilis (see subtle).