[ ik-skwiz-it, ek-skwi-zit ]
See synonyms for: exquisiteexquisitesexquisitelyexquisiteness on Thesaurus.com

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

  2. extraordinarily fine or admirable; consummate: exquisite weather.

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

  2. of rare excellence of production or execution, as works of art or workmanship: the exquisite statues of the Renaissance.

  3. keenly or delicately sensitive or responsive: an exquisite ear for music; an exquisite sensibility.

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

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

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

Origin of exquisite

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”

synonym study For exquisite

1. See delicate. 2. See fine1

pronunciation note For exquisite

The pronunciation of exquisite has undergone a rapid change from [ek-skwi-zit] /ˈɛk skwɪ zɪt/ to [ik-skwiz-it], /ɪkˈskwɪz ɪt/, 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.

Other words for exquisite

Opposites for exquisite

Other words from exquisite

  • 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

Words Nearby exquisite

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use exquisite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for exquisite


/ (ɪkˈskwɪzɪt, ˈɛkskwɪzɪt) /

  1. possessing qualities of unusual delicacy and fine craftsmanship: jewels in an exquisite setting

  2. extremely beautiful and pleasing: an exquisite face

  1. outstanding or excellent: an exquisite victory

  2. sensitive; discriminating: exquisite taste

  3. fastidious and refined

  4. intense or sharp in feeling: exquisite pleasure; exquisite pain

  1. obsolete a dandy

Origin of exquisite

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

Derived forms of exquisite

  • exquisitely, adverb
  • exquisiteness, noun

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