View synonyms for exquisite


[ ik-skwiz-it, ek-skwi-zit ]


  1. of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, coloring, music, or poetry.

    Synonyms: elegant, beautiful, dainty

    Antonyms: inelegant, graceless

  2. extraordinarily fine or admirable; consummate:

    exquisite weather.

    Synonyms: matchless, rare

    Antonyms: ordinary

  3. intense; acute, or keen, as pleasure or pain.

    Synonyms: poignant

    Antonyms: dull

  4. of rare excellence of production or execution, as works of art or workmanship:

    the exquisite statues of the Renaissance.

    Synonyms: precious, choice, select

  5. keenly or delicately sensitive or responsive:

    an exquisite ear for music; an exquisite sensibility.

  6. of particular refinement or elegance, as taste, manners, etc., or persons.

    Synonyms: discriminating

  7. carefully sought out, chosen, ascertained, devised, etc.


  1. Archaic. a person, especially a man, who is excessively concerned about clothes, grooming, etc.; dandy; coxcomb.


/ ɪkˈskwɪzɪt; ˈɛkskwɪzɪt /


  1. possessing qualities of unusual delicacy and fine craftsmanship

    jewels in an exquisite setting

  2. extremely beautiful and pleasing

    an exquisite face

  3. outstanding or excellent

    an exquisite victory

  4. sensitive; discriminating

    exquisite taste

  5. fastidious and refined
  6. intense or sharp in feeling

    exquisite pleasure

    exquisite pain


  1. obsolete.
    a dandy

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Pronunciation Note

The pronunciation of exquisite has undergone a rapid change from [ek, -skwi-zit] to [ik-, skwiz, -it], with stress shifting to the second syllable. The newer pronunciation is still criticized by some, but is now more common in both the U.S. and England, and many younger educated speakers are not even aware of the older one. See harass.

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Derived Forms

  • exˈquisiteness, noun
  • exˈquisitely, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ex·quis·ite·ly adverb
  • ex·quis·ite·ness noun
  • o·ver·ex·quis·ite adjective
  • su·per·ex·qui·site adjective
  • su·per·ex·qui·site·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of exquisite1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin exquīsītus “meticulous, chosen with care,” originally past participle of exquīrere “to ask about, examine,” equivalent to ex- ex- 1 + -quīrere , combining form of quaerere “to seek”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of exquisite1

C15: from Latin exquīsītus excellent, from exquīrere to search out, from quaerere to seek

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Synonym Study

See delicate. See fine 1

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Example Sentences

Han builds the tension in this story slowly, but he builds it with exquisite care, and it’s entirely worth the investment.

I craved the kind of exquisite views and deep solitude that only come from schlepping your stuff deep into the backcountry.

He’s been making sushi for a long time in his small, exquisite restaurant, which is inside a subway station in Tokyo.

From Vox

On the brand’s page, you will find exquisite user-generated travel images from all parts of the world, inspiring its potential and loyal customers.

Still, the device represents a promising proof-of-concept that suggests that we may soon be able to replicate and even better one of nature’s most exquisite designs.

Welcome to the exquisite hell of being director of the Central Intelligence Agency today.

Like many successful tailors, his attention to detail is exquisite.

According to Wynd, “Freddie Mercury once said he wanted to lead a Victorian life surrounded by exquisite clutter.”

With its exquisite landscapes, birds-eye view and soothing cinematic music, Drone Boning makes sex look like art.

With exquisite timing, religious historian Karen Armstrong steps forth with Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence.

At the same time he realised that she had never seemed so adorably lovely, so exquisite, so out of his reach.

While the refined exquisite was giving his order, a jolly western drover had listened with opened mouth and protruding eyes.

He saw Lettice and his cousin helping towards this exquisite deliverance somehow.

Her exquisite, frail beauty held a strength that mocked the worship in his eyes and voice.

The sides generally rather shallow, heads of exquisite form and well defined.