• WordNet 3.6
    • n delicacy lightness in movement or manner
    • n delicacy the quality of being beautiful and delicate in appearance "the daintiness of her touch","the fineness of her features"
    • n delicacy subtly skillful handling of a situation
    • n delicacy lack of physical strength
    • n delicacy smallness of stature
    • n delicacy refined taste; tact
    • n delicacy something considered choice to eat
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Roman emperors ate flamingo tongues which were considered a delicacy. Also parrotfish livers, and pheasant brains were feasted on
    • Delicacy Addiction to pleasure; luxury; daintiness; indulgence; luxurious or voluptuous treatment. "And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent
      For gentle usage and soft delicacy ?"
    • Delicacy Nice and refined perception and discrimination; critical niceness; fastidious accuracy. "That Augustan delicacy of taste which is the boast of the great public schools of England."
    • Delicacy Nice propriety of manners or conduct; susceptibility or tenderness of feeling; refinement; fastidiousness; and hence, in an exaggerated sense, effeminacy; as, great delicacy of behavior; delicacy in doing a kindness; delicacy of character that unfits for earnest action. "You know your mother's delicacy in this point."
    • Delicacy Nicety or fineness of form, texture, or constitution; softness; elegance; smoothness; tenderness; and hence, frailty or weakness; as, the delicacy of a fiber or a thread; delicacy of a hand or of the human form; delicacy of the skin; delicacy of frame.
    • Delicacy Pleasure; gratification; delight. "He Rome brent for his delicacie ."
    • Delicacy That which is alluring, delicate, or refined; a luxury or pleasure; something pleasant to the senses, especially to the sense of taste; a dainty; as, delicacies of the table. "The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies ."
    • Delicacy The state of being affected by slight causes; sensitiveness; as, the delicacy of a chemist's balance.
    • Delicacy The state or condition of being delicate; agreeableness to the senses; delightfulness; as, delicacy of flavor, of odor, and the like. "What choice to choose for delicacy best."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Snake is a delicacy in China
    • n delicacy The quality of being delicate; that which is delicate. Specifically
    • n delicacy Exquisite agreeable-ness to the sense of taste or some other sense; refined pleasantness; daintiness: as, delicacy of flavor or of odor.
    • n delicacy Something that delights the senses, particularly the sense of taste; a dainty: as, the delicacies of the table.
    • n delicacy Pleasing fineness or refinement of detail; minute perfection in any characteristic quality, as form, texture, tint, tenuity, finish, adjustment, etc.: as, the delicacy of the skin or of a fabric; delicacy of contour; the delicacy of a thread or of a watch-spring.
    • n delicacy That which is refined or the result of refinement, especially of the senses; a refinement.
    • n delicacy Niceness; criticalness; equivocalness; the condition of requiring care or caution: as, the delicacy of a point or question; the delicacy of a surgical operation.
    • n delicacy Nicety of perception; exquisite sensitiveness or acuteness, physical or mental; exquisiteness; fineness: as, delicacy of touch or of observation; delicacy of wit.
    • n delicacy Acute or nice discrimination as to what is pleasing or unpleasing; hence, a refined perception of beauty and deformity, or the faculty of such perception; critical refinement of taste; fastidiousness.
    • n delicacy Civility or politeness proceeding from a nice observance of propriety; the quality manifested in care to avoid offense or what may cause distress or embarrassment; freedom from grossness. as, delicacy of behavior or feeling.
    • n delicacy Sensitive reluctance; modest or considerate hesitation; timidity or diffidence due to refined feeling: as, I feel a great delicacy in approaching such a subject.
    • n delicacy Tenderness, as of the constitution; susceptibility to disease; physical sensitiveness.
    • n delicacy The quality of being addicted to pleasure; voluptuousness of life; luxuriousness.
    • n delicacy Pleasure; a diversion; a luxury.
    • n delicacy Synonyms Daintiness, savoriness. Delicacy, Dainty, Tidbit. A delicacy is specifically something very choice for eating; it may be cooked, dressed, or in the natural state: as, his table was abundantly supplied with all the delicacies of the season; the appetite of the sick man had to be coaxed with delicacies. Dainty is a stronger word, indicating something even more choice. A tidbit is a particularly choice or delicious morsel, a small quantity taken from a larger on account of its excellence.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Flamingo tongues were a common delicacy at Roman feasts.
    • n Delicacy state or quality of being delicate: refinement: nicety: tenderness, weakness: luxuriousness: anything delicate or dainty
    • ***


  • William Hazlitt
    “If a person has no delicacy, he has you in his power.”
  • Jean Genet
    “There is a close relationship between flowers and convicts. The fragility and delicacy of the former are of the same nature as the brutal insensitivity of the latter.”
  • Jonathan Swift
    “A footman may swear; but he cannot swear like a lord. He can swear as often: but can he swear with equal delicacy, propriety, and judgment?”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Delicate (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. delicātusdeliciæ, allurements, luxury—delicĕrede, inten., lacĕre, to entice.


In literature:

All critics are agreed that this book contains passages offensive to delicacy, and some say to morality.
"A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature" by John W. Cousin
Of Bonnard he has written with a delicacy of understanding hardly to be matched in contemporary criticism.
"Since Cézanne" by Clive Bell
I never took much account before of his delicacy.
"Lady Connie" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
A Brahmin who is particular in his delicacy, must be careful what he treads upon.
"Dr. Scudder's Tales for Little Readers, About the Heathen." by Dr. John Scudder
Watermelon and pumpkin seeds are for him dessert delicacies.
"Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, No. 23, February, 1873, Vol. XI. No. 23." by Various
It had become as precious to him as a new delicacy to Lucullus.
"The Last Shot" by Frederick Palmer
Frog are usually fried, and are considered a great delicacy.
"The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887)" by Mrs. F.L. Gillette
She was a slim, rather small lady, and her fair face, at first sight, suggested an agreeable delicacy.
"V. V.'s Eyes" by Henry Sydnor Harrison
His face expressed a wistful desire to confer further with Jewdwine on this matter; but a certain delicacy restrained him.
"The Divine Fire" by May Sinclair
Our delicacy, in fact, forbids the dramatizing of distress at all.
"The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4" by Charles Lamb

In poetry:

Then TENDERNESS with CANDOUR joined,
And GAIETY the charming office sought;
Nor even DELICACY stayed behind:
But none of those fair Graces brought
"The Birth Of Love" by William Wordsworth
I would not change my iron bed
For all the downy couches spread
Around corruption's throne;
Nor would I give my prison fare
For all the delicacies rare
Which pampered wealth doth own.
"Lines, Addressed To H ———," by Samuel Bamford
"He had an ample income, and of course he stands in need
Of sherry with his dinner, and his customary weed;
No delicacies now can pass his gentlemanly lips -
He misses his sea-bathing and his continental trips.
"Mister William" by William Schwenck Gilbert
On PETER'S portion oysters grew - a delicacy rare,
But oysters were a delicacy PETER couldn't bear.
On SOMERS' side was turtle, on the shingle lying thick,
Which SOMERS couldn't eat, because it always made him sick.
"Etiquette" by William Schwenck Gilbert
- Sir, was it glory, was it honour, pride,
And not as cat and serpent and poor slave,
Wherewith we walked in union by your side?
Spare to false womanliness her delicacy,
Or bid true manliness give ear, we crave:
In our defence thus chained are we.
"A Ballad Of Fair Ladies In Revolt" by George Meredith

In news:

Protesters have gathered outside a Mountain View restaurant that's promising a free serving of the duck liver delicacy.
California restaurant owners had until midnight to legally sell foie gras to customers seeking the French delicacy.
Saturday is the final day that Californians can legally buy the controversial delicacy foie gras in the state.
Foie gras fans flocking to eat controversial delicacy before July 1 ban.
Foie-gras lovers from Los Angeles to San Francisco are flocking to restaurants this week to savor the delicacy before a state ban takes effect July 1.
Enjoy the controversial delicacy while you can.
Patrick Mulvaney sets out a plate of duck foie gras Tuesday at his Sacramento restaurant, where he plans to serve the delicacy until the ban July 1.
Give the gift of gourmet delicacies and other coveted food-related presents to the chef or foodie on your list this year.
There's no doubt that this European delicacy is one of America's most popular foods.
0 There's no doubt that this European delicacy is one of America's most popular foods.
Wild mushrooms are thought of as poisonous pests by some and gourmet delicacies by many.
Many of Mean Bao's delicacies are infused with green tea.
Ugandan custom has it that only women and children catch grasshoppers , and only men enjoy eating the delicacy.
Locusts are cheap and easy to farm, and are considered a delicacy in many countries in Africa.
I am grateful that my small family had more than enough delicious delicacies to devour over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

In science:

Roughly speaking, the delicacy in the two-dimensional case is coming from the fact that the relevant “spikes” responsible for the repulsion are thicker than in the higher dimensional case, where essentially just very local spikes are responsible for the effect.
Localization-delocalization phenomena for random interfaces
The delicacy of this issue is illustrated on an example below. (2) Results which are obtained by interpreting the eigenvalue problem as a nonlinear problem (in both eigenvalue and eigenvector).
On Temple--Kato like inequalities and applications
We want to thank here Alice Guionnet, Manjunath Krishnapur and Balint Virag who introduced us in the world of large deviation delicacies.
On the number of minima of a random polynomial
This relation also shows the delicacy of the communication range, where we can approximate cj /c by 1 — otherwise we would need a number far from 1, giving a big effect to the lower bound p0 .
Random graph models of communication network topologies
Having this delicacy on mind, we shall use the usual Hamiltonian formalism to express equations of motion governing the tra jectories.
Transition from Regular to Chaotic Circulation in Magnetized Coronae near Compact Objects