• synonyms


See more synonyms for dainty on Thesaurus.com
adjective, dain·ti·er, dain·ti·est.
  1. of delicate beauty; exquisite: a dainty lace handkerchief.
  2. pleasing to the taste and, often, temptingly served or delicate; delicious: dainty pastries.
  3. of delicate discrimination or taste; particular; fastidious: a dainty eater.
  4. overly particular; finicky.
Show More
noun, plural dain·ties.
  1. something delicious to the taste; a delicacy.
Show More

Origin of dainty

1175–1225; Middle English deinte worthiness, happiness, delicacy < Anglo-French (Old French deint(i)e) < Latin dignitāt- (stem of dignitās); see dignity
Related formsdain·ti·ly, adverbdain·ti·ness, nouno·ver·dain·ti·ly, adverbo·ver·dain·ti·ness, nouno·ver·dain·ty, adjectivesu·per·dain·ty, adjectiveun·dain·ti·ly, adverbun·dain·ti·ness, nounun·dain·ty, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

1. See delicate. 3. See particular.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cake, doughnut, bread, croissant, pie, phyllo, feast, tidbit, thrill, gift, goody, delicacy, refreshment, delight, sweet, fun, pleasure, pastry, candy, dessert

Examples from the Web for dainties

Historical Examples

  • Otto and Pussy also paid several visits, armed with dainties for their favorite.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • Lantier had thought of himself when he advised Virginie to deal in dainties.


    Emile Zola

  • Your aunt must have dainties to tempt her appetite and so keep up her strength.

  • If you do not care to share your dainties, you can hang them from the roof.

  • John unwrapped the dainties and threw the paper on the floor.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely

British Dictionary definitions for dainties


adjective -tier or -tiest
  1. delicate or eleganta dainty teacup
  2. pleasing to the taste; choice; deliciousa dainty morsel
  3. refined, esp excessively genteel; fastidious
Show More
noun plural -ties
  1. a choice piece of food, esp a small cake or sweet; delicacy
Show More
Derived Formsdaintily, adverbdaintiness, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French deintié, from Latin dignitās dignity
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

Word Origin and History for dainties



c.1300, "delightful, pleasing," from dainty (n.). Meaning evolved in Middle English to "choice, excellent" (late 14c.) to "delicately pretty." Related: Daintiness.

Show More



c.1300, "excellence, elegance; a luxury," from Old French deintie (12c.) "price, value," also "delicacy, pleasure," from Latin dignitatem (nominative dignitas) "greatness, rank, worthiness, worth, beauty," from dignus "worthy" (see dignity).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper