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



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

Origin of exquisite

1400–50; late Middle English < 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
Related formsex·quis·ite·ly, adverbex·quis·ite·ness, nouno·ver·ex·quis·ite, adjectivesu·per·ex·qui·site, adjectivesu·per·ex·qui·site·ly, adverbsu·per·ex·qui·site·ness, noun

Synonyms for exquisite

Synonym study

1. See delicate. 2. See fine1

Antonyms for exquisite

1. gross. 2. ordinary. 3. dull.

Pronunciation note

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

Examples from the Web for exquisitely

Contemporary Examples of exquisitely

Historical Examples of exquisitely

  • My dear, don't fail to try them, they're exquisitely perfect!

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • All was now exquisitely restful, instinct with unlimited hope.

  • The form of her face was exquisitely lovely, her complexion radiant.

  • It was exquisitely polished, and cased in the interior with silver.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • The weather was exquisitely still, the sky absolutely clear.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for exquisitely



possessing qualities of unusual delicacy and fine craftsmanshipjewels in an exquisite setting
extremely beautiful and pleasingan exquisite face
outstanding or excellentan exquisite victory
sensitive; discriminatingexquisite taste
fastidious and refined
intense or sharp in feelingexquisite pleasure; exquisite pain


obsolete a dandy
Derived Formsexquisitely, adverbexquisiteness, noun

Word Origin for exquisite

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



early 15c., "carefully selected," from Latin exquisitus "carefully sought out," thus, "choice," from past participle of exquirere "search out thoroughly," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + quaerere "to seek" (see query (v.)).

Of any thing (good or bad, torture as well as art) brought to a highly wrought condition, sometimes shading into disapproval. A vogue word 15c.-18c., given wide extensions of meaning, none of which survives. The main modern sense of "of consummate and delightful excellence" is first attested 1579, in Lyly's "Euphues." Related: Exquisitely; exquisiteness. The noun meaning "a dandy, fop" is from 1819.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

exquisitely in Medicine


[ĕkskwĭ-zĭt, ĭk-skwĭzĭt]


Extremely intense, keen, or sharp. Used of pain or tenderness.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.