subtle

[ suht-l ]
/ ˈsʌt l /

adjective, sub·tler, sub·tlest.

Origin of subtle

1250–1300; Middle English sotil < Old French < Latin subtīlis subtile (b of modern spelling < L)
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subtle

British Dictionary definitions for subtle

subtle

/ (ˈsʌtəl) /

adjective

Derived Formssubtleness, nounsubtly, adverb

Word Origin for subtle

C14: from Old French soutil, from Latin subtīlis finely woven
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 subtle

subtle


adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper