1. Rare; valuable; costly. [Obs.]
"Full many a deynté horse had he in stable." -- Chaucer.
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.