adjective, sub·tler, sub·tlest.
Origin of subtle
Examples from the Web for subtle
Hammerstein continued his subtle quest for racial equanimity in Oklahoma!
In recent days, there has been a subtle feeling of defeat permeating through the camp.
Vreeland believes that in the end, his grandmother put her subtle seal of approval on his lifestyle.
Light amber in color with a subtle sour finish, Fula is one of Casa Bruja's best sellers.House of the Witch: The Renegade Craft Brewers of Panama|Jeff Campagna|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For those who have a problem with that, she offered a charming, subtle middle finger.Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins’s Brain Feels Like Mush|Sujay Kumar|November 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He thought her very lovely, and there was a subtle suggestion of something besides loveliness.The Butterfly House|Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The arm of the Inquisition was long, its watch was vigilant, and its weapons were subtle.Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam|Ephraim Emerton
Instead of a sensible and wary man, we call him a disguised and subtle fellow.The Works of Horace|Horace
And then the continual effort to degrade the Mass, to rob it of its mystery and holy character—it's clever, it's subtle.A Lost Cause|Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
"Under the Cedars" was fresh and bright, full of imagination and that subtle power which touches the commonplace with interest.Salome|Emma Marshall
Word Origin for subtle
c.1300, sutel, soutil, in reference to things, "of thin consistency;" in reference to craftsmen, "skilled, clever," from Old French soutil, from Latin subtilis "fine, thin, delicate, finely woven," from sub "under" (see sub-) + -tilis, from tela "web" and texere "to weave" (see texture). The spelling with -b- reflects confusion with subtile. Most non-material senses were present by late 14c.