Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

delicate - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     delicate pronunciation in British English
  1. 1
    something that is delicate can easily be damaged or broken

    Delicate skin must be protected from the sun.

  2. 2
    someone who is delicate is rather weak and often ill
    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    attractive and thin, small, light, or graceful

    The plant has delicate pink flowers.

    her delicate hands

  4. 6
    a delicate situation needs to be dealt with carefully so that people do not get upset or annoyed

    There is a rather delicate matter that I need to discuss with you.

    The negotiations are at a very delicate stage.

  5. 7
    a delicate process is difficult, needing care and a lot of skill

    a very delicate operation

    a delicate balance between freedom and restraint

  6. 8
    moving with care and skill

    He plays the piano with a delicate touch.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play