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dainty

[deyn-tee]
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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.
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noun, plural dain·ties.
  1. something delicious to the taste; a delicacy.
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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

Synonyms

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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.

    L'Assommoir

    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

dainty

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
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noun plural -ties
  1. a choice piece of food, esp a small cake or sweet; delicacy
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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

dainty

adj.

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

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dainty

n.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper