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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
  1. Easily damaged or requiring careful handling.
    Those clothes are delicate
    The negotiations were very delicate
  2. Characterized by a fine structure or thin lines.
    Her face was delicate
    The spider wove a delicate web
    There was a delicate pattern of frost on the window
  3. Intended for use with fragile items.
    Set the washing machine to the delicate cycle
  4. Of weak health, easily sick.
  5. Unwell, especially because of having drunk too much alcohol.
    Please don't speak so loudly - I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning


From Middle English delicat < Latin delicatus (“giving pleasure, delightful, soft, luxurious, delicate, in Medieval Latin also fine, slender”) < delicia, usually in plural deliciae (“pleasure, delight, luxury”) < delicere (“to allure”) < de (“away”) + lacere (“to allure, entice”).

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