• 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

Examples from the Web for daintily

Historical Examples

  • He sliced it into bits, and she took them daintily from between his fingers.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • Galeotto ate enormously, Cavalcanti daintily, I but little, and Bianca nothing.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Hose-pipes coil over the floors, and one must walk by them daintily.

  • As she moved away so lightly and so daintily Kelley stared in stupefaction.

  • Judith finished dabbling her fingers in the finger-bowl, and wiped them daintily.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

British Dictionary definitions for daintily


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 daintily


c.1300, "sumptuously;" late 14c., "elegantly," from dainty (adj.) + -ly (2).

Show More



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