A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 559

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 559

De'licate. adj. [delicat, French.]

  1. Fine; not coarse; consisting of small parts.

    As much blood passeth through the lungs as through all the rest of the body: the circulation is quicker, and heat greater, and their texture is extremely delicate. Arbuthnot on Aliments.

  2. Beautiful; pleasing to the eye.

  3. Nice; pleasing to the taste; of an agreeable flavour.

    The chusing of a delicate before a more ordinary dish, is to be done as other human actions are, in which there are no degrees and precise natural limits described. Taylour.

  4. Dainty; desirous of curious meats.

  5. Choice; select; excellent.

  6. Polite; gentle of manners.

  7. Soft; effeminate; unable to bear hardships.

    Witness this army of such mass and charge,
    Led by a delicate and tender prince.
    Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    Tender and delicate persons must needs be oft angry, they have so many things to trouble them, which more robust natures have little sense of. Bacon, Essay 58.

  8. Pure; clear.

    Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed
    The air is delicate.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Taylor, Jeremy (57)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · French (385)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Delicate." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 27, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/delicate/.

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