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Dainty
WordNet 2.0
  • something considered choice to eat
  • of delicate composition and artistry
  • "a dainty teacup"
  • "an exquisite cameo"
  • 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"
  • affectedly dainty or refined
  • especially pleasing to the taste
  • "a dainty dish to set before a kind"
  • "a tasty morsel"
Dainty
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
  • 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. 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.

  • 1. Rare; valuable; costly. [Obs.]

    "Full many a deynté horse had he in stable." -- Chaucer.

    [MORE]
    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.

 

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