Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: delicatus

delicate

adjective
     
del‧i‧cate
1 needing to be dealt with carefully or sensitively in order to avoid problems or failure:
There's something I have to speak to you about - it's a delicate matter.
delicate negotiations
2 easily damaged or broken [= fragile]:
delicate hand-cut glass
The sun can easily damage a child's delicate skin.
3 old-fashioned someone who is delicate is hurt easily or easily becomes ill:
a delicate child
4 a part of the body that is delicate is attractive and graceful:
Her wrists and ankles were slim and delicate.
5 made skilfully and with attention to the smallest details:
a plate with a delicate pattern of leaves
6 a taste, smell, or colour that is delicate is pleasant and not strong:
The wine has a dry delicate flavour.
a delicate pink
delicately adverb
indelicateWORD FOCUS: difficult WORD FOCUS: difficult
difficult to do: hard, tough, challenging, daunting

difficult and needing a lot of physical effort: tough, strenuous, back-breaking, gruelling, arduous, punishing

difficult to deal with or talk about: tricky, awkward, delicate, sensitive, touchy

words for describing a difficult person: awkward, trying

words for describing difficult conditions: adverse, hostile


See also
difficult
WORD FOCUS: weak WORD FOCUS: weak
person: puny, feeble, weedy British English, frail, fragile, powerless, vulnerable

thing: fragile, delicate, flimsy, rickety, badly made, jerry-built


See also
weak

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