adjective, dain·ti·er, dain·ti·est.

of delicate beauty; exquisite: a dainty lace handkerchief.
pleasing to the taste and, often, temptingly served or delicate; delicious: dainty pastries.
of delicate discrimination or taste; particular; fastidious: a dainty eater.
overly particular; finicky.

noun, plural dain·ties.

something delicious to the taste; a delicacy.

Nearby words

  1. daimonic,
  2. daimonistic,
  3. daimyo,
  4. daimyo bond,
  5. daintily,
  6. daiquiri,
  7. dairen,
  8. dairy,
  9. dairy breed,
  10. dairy cattle

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 forms

Synonym study

1. See delicate. 3. See particular.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dainties

British Dictionary definitions for dainties


adjective -tier or -tiest

delicate or eleganta dainty teacup
pleasing to the taste; choice; deliciousa dainty morsel
refined, esp excessively genteel; fastidious

noun plural -ties

a choice piece of food, esp a small cake or sweet; delicacy
Derived Formsdaintily, adverbdaintiness, noun

Word Origin for dainty

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper