A ballerina's quick, perfect steps? An antique porcelain teacup? A tiny sentence etched inside a silver locket? All of these have delicacy, or fineness that comes from being light, beautiful, or small.

A delicacy can also be a prized dish that is eaten on special occasions or is especially loved by those in a certain culture or place. But what is a delicacy to some (chocolate-covered crickets, anyone?) might disgust others. Remember to use delicacy, or tact, in turning down someone else's delicacies. This could help you avoid hurting someone's feelings.

Definitions of delicacy
  1. noun
    the quality of being beautiful and delicate in appearance
    synonyms: daintiness, fineness
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    type of:
    a refined quality of gracefulness and good taste
  2. noun
    refined taste; tact
    synonyms: discretion
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    type of:
    appreciation, discernment, perceptiveness, taste
    delicate discrimination (especially of aesthetic values)
  3. noun
    smallness of stature
    synonyms: slightness
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    type of:
    littleness, smallness
    the property of having a relatively small size
  4. noun
    lack of physical strength
    synonyms: fragility
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    type of:
    the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain
  5. noun
    lightness in movement or manner
    synonyms: airiness
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    type of:
    life, liveliness, spirit, sprightliness
    animation and energy in action or expression
  6. noun
    subtly skillful handling of a situation
    synonyms: diplomacy, discreetness, finesse
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    type of:
    tact, tactfulness
    consideration in dealing with others and avoiding giving offense
  7. noun
    something considered choice to eat
    synonyms: dainty, goody, kickshaw, treat
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    choice morsel, tidbit, titbit
    a small tasty bit of food
    savory, savoury
    an aromatic or spicy dish served at the end of dinner or as an hors d'oeuvre
    confection, sweet
    a food rich in sugar
    ambrosia, nectar
    (classical mythology) the food and drink of the gods; mortals who ate it became immortal
    gelatin, jelly
    an edible jelly (sweet or pungent) made with gelatin and used as a dessert or salad base or a coating for foods
    bone marrow, marrow
    very tender and very nutritious tissue from marrowbones
    calf's-foot jelly
    a savory jelly made with gelatin obtained by boiling calves' feet
    candy and other sweets considered collectively
    preserved or candied fruit
    a sweetened delicacy (as a preserve or pastry)
    candy, confect
    a rich sweet made of flavored sugar and often combined with fruit or nuts
    a British sweet made with molasses and butter and almonds
    chewing gum, gum
    a preparation (usually made of sweetened chicle) for chewing
    candied apple, candy apple, caramel apple, taffy apple, toffee apple
    an apple that is covered with a candy-like substance (usually caramelized sugar)
    center, centre
    the sweet central portion of a piece of candy that is enclosed in chocolate or some other covering
    candy containing a fruit or nut
    maraschino, maraschino cherry
    cherry preserved in true or imitation maraschino liqueur
    colored beads of sugar used as a topping on e.g. candies and cookies
    gelatin dessert
    jellied dessert made with gelatin and fruit juice or water
    savory jelly based on fish or meat stock used as a mold for meats or vegetables
    type of:
    aliment, alimentation, nourishment, nutriment, nutrition, sustenance, victuals
    a source of materials to nourish the body
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