Definitions for: Dainty


[n] something considered choice to eat
[adj] of delicate composition and artistry; "a dainty teacup"; "an exquisite cameo"
[adj] excessively fastidious and easily disgusted; "too nice about his food to take to camp cooking"; "so squeamish he would only touch the toilet handle with his elbow"
[adj] affectedly dainty or refined
[adj] especially pleasing to the taste; "a dainty dish to set before a kind"; "a tasty morsel"



Webster (1913) Definition: Dain"ty, n.; pl. Dainties. [OE. deinie, dainte,
deintie, deyntee, OF. deinti['e] delicacy, orig., dignity,
honor, fr. L. dignitas, fr. dignus worthy. See Deign, and
cf. Dignity.]
1. Value; estimation; the gratification or pleasure taken in
anything. [Obs.]

I ne told no deyntee of her love. --Chaucer.

2. That which is delicious or delicate; a delicacy.

That precious nectar may the taste renew Of Eden's
dainties, by our parents lost. --Beau. & Fl.

3. A term of fondness. [Poetic] --B. Jonson.

Syn: Dainty, Delicacy.

Usage: These words are here compared as denoting articles of
food. The term delicacy as applied to a nice article
of any kind, and hence to articles of food which are
particularly attractive. Dainty is stronger, and
denotes some exquisite article of cookery. A hotel may
be provided with all the delicacies of the season, and
its table richly covered with dainties.

These delicacies I mean of taste, sight, smell,
herbs, fruits, and flowers, Walks and the melody
of birds. --Milton.

[A table] furnished plenteously with bread, And
dainties, remnants of the last regale. --Cowper.


Dain"ty, a. [Compar. Daintier; superl. Daintiest.]
1. Rare; valuable; costly. [Obs.]

Full many a deynt['e] horse had he in stable.
--Chaucer.

Note: Hence the proverb ``dainty maketh dearth,'' i. e.,
rarity makes a thing dear or precious.

2. Delicious to the palate; toothsome.

Dainty bits Make rich the ribs. --Shak.

3. Nice; delicate; elegant, in form, manner, or breeding;
well-formed; neat; tender.

Those dainty limbs which nature lent For gentle
usage and soft delicacy. --Milton.

I would be the girdle. About her dainty, dainty
waist. --Tennyson.

4. Requiring dainties. Hence: Overnice; hard to please;
fastidious; squeamish; scrupulous; ceremonious.

Thew were a fine and dainty people. --Bacon.

And let us not be dainty of leave-taking, But shift
away. --Shak.

To make dainty, to assume or affect delicacy or
fastidiousness. [Obs.]

Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all Will now deny
to dance? She that makes dainty, She, I'll swear,
hath corns. --Shak.

Synonyms: delicacy, delicate, exquisite, fastidious, goody, kickshaw, mincing, nice, niminy-piminy, overnice, prim, prissy, refined, squeamish, tasteful, tasty, treat, twee

See Also: aliment, alimentation, ambrosia, bone marrow, choice morsel, confection, confectionery, gelatin, jelly, marrow, nectar, nourishment, nutriment, nutrition, savory, savoury, sustenance, sweet, tidbit, titbit, victuals

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